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2009 ***WINNER*** MANOWARPLAYER'S 6TH ANNUAL CHRISTMAS GAME GIVEAWAY RESULTS!
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MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!


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As I wind down and do these last few replies on December 23rd, I have to admit to being a bit overwhelmed by how long it has taken me to do this this year. I feel like I have worked on them about the same amount of time each day that I did last year and I also started the contest about the same time as I did last year. For some reason however, I'm about a week or so behind where I wanted to be!

I hope you can all forgive me for keeping you in suspense for so long!

I'm rushing this header together so I can actually get this posted before Christmas but I promise to go back and add to it tomorrow and fill you in on some things.


UPDATE

As promised, I finallyhave some time to come back and update you all on some recent events.

Some of you may remember that I've been waiting to find out what happens with a couple of job leads - the first being a new start-up company spearheaded by a few of the execs from my old company and the second, being a temporary job for a company that has a short term contract with the Government at Travis AFB.

The start-up company is STILL waiting for funding. Several times there have been scheduled meetings to finalize the transfer of funds from the investors and each time there has been a new snag - insurance, paperwork, ect... The Friday before Christmas was supposed to have been the date of the final transfer but again it was held up for mysterious reasons. From what I've now heard, it appears that there are still plans for moving forward and there are several contingency plans in case the main investor gets cold feet. I haven't heard that that is the case, but that's what it looks like to me as someone on the outside. I'll know more at the end of this next week.

The temp job at Travis AFB is moving forward however. Last contact I had was the day after I did the drug testing and they told me with a short email that the project was delayed until January. I still had not been interviewed at that time and the prospects didn't loook good. L

Out of the blue on the 23rd, I get a phone call from the same game I've talked to on the phone and he asks if I'm still interested and that the project will be starting on Jan 4th. Of course I say I am still interested and he begins to talk to me about the schedule on the 4th ...orientation, a tour, ect...

I'm a little confused at this point so I interupt him and ask if he is just giving me a basic schedule in case I get the job or is he actually offering me the job? He says "I'd like you to start on the 4th." to which I say, "Are there not going to be interviews then?" He tells me that they are under the gun to get this job finished so he is just hiring those he liked - but there still may be interviews after we've already started working!

Um... ok!

I'm still waiting on a final email to confirm this but for now I'm expecting to be working most of January at nearly my old pay!


I hope that you all have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Happy New Year!
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101. Board Game: Carcassonne: Traders & Builders [Average Rating:7.59 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.59 Unranked]
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Raimond
Sweden
Göteborg
Västra Götalands län
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Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. (Carl Sagan 1934-1996)
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Well, I think that it must be Carcassonne: Traders & Builders
Because you have not played it yet!

PS. And because I love Carcassonne and I hope that this game could be THE GAME!



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God Jul Raimond!

Even though I have no listed playings of Carcassonne: Traders & Builders, I do play it - I just typically don't log every expansion that I play. It's part laziness and partly because I haven't seetled on HOW I want to log them... do I count them as a full play or do something like a .1? I don't know what to do about it, I suppose I should just settle on 1 way and do it. I guess you've figured out that based on my comments, it's still sitting here on the shelf so I will just wish you better luck next year!


I'd like to welcome you to BGG though - it seems like you just signed up this past September according to your profile. It looks like you've really got involved quite a bit too - you've added an amazing 130 games and 49 images to the database in a short 3 months! That is awesome! If every new user followed your lead, we'd have more data than we know what to do with here!

You rate Scotland Yard a perfect 10 so the natural suggestion I need to make is for you to try Fury of Dracula as the game play is similar. I really like the immersive theming of Fury of Dracula and it always completely draws me into the game when I playing. If you get a chance, give it a try!

Have a great holiday this year Raimond, God Jul Och Ett Gott Nytt Ar!



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102. Board Game: The Werewolves of Miller's Hollow [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:429]
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Jeff
United States
Clearfield/State College
Pennsylvania
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Thanks for the awesome contest!!! Extremely generous of you. I am going to pick The Werewolves of Miller's Hollow only because my other two picks Powergrid and Wallenstein have already been picked.



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The Werewolves of Miller's Hollow would have been a real easy game to give away - small, easy to ship and it's not one of my favorites with my usual gaming group. However, I wanted to do something real nice (and BIG) this year, despite my current situation! I think many people will be surprised at what was given away all things considered! Better luck next year!

Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery is one of the 4 games you've rated a 9 and would be the one I'd first want to play out of those 4. I love the way the game has multiple strategic paths and offers players several ways to approach the game. It is also great looking and has some really nice components - all things that contribute to a high rating in my book! I'd encourage you to play it again as soon as possible, it really is a fantastic game I think!

I think your unplayed (or is it just unrated?) copy of Puerto Rico is going to be a game you really enjoy too as there are some common elements it shares with Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery. Although not one of my favorites, Puerto Rico is still a ground breaking game that deserves it's spot in the BGG rankings.

I hoep you have a very Merry Christmas Jeff, thanks for playing!



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103. Board Game: Taj Mahal [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:186]
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N/A

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COOL!! I love Christmas contests!!!!! Thanks very much for this!

Methinks it's Taj Mahal!



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Yours is a bittersweet reply I must make Tony! On one hand it will be great to chat a bit and check out your collection, but on the other, you were one of TWO people that correctly picked the 2nd game I was giving away this year. As you may have already seen, Taj Mahal, was not a game I set out to give away this year, but through a series of very strange circumstances and the extreme generousity of a certain individual, I ended up with a new copy of it - and unfortuantely, it was a game I already owned. Read the whole story HERE...

With two of you picking Taj Mahal, I simply assigned each of you a colored cube and drew one at random to see who would win and unfortunately for you, it was not your color. I've thought about it alot and I've decided to give you a nice consolation though... 50 GEEKGOLD!

Hopefully that will ease some of the sting out of being so close to a game you really wanted. If I was employed, I'd send you your own copy as well.

So on to other things... I just have to say, I really enjoyed reading your profile as there was quite a bit of interesting commentary, many links and a lot of information about you and your gaming habits. I love your paintings and drawings - many evoke a cool Sci-fi vibe in them. I wanted to say "Hey that's from Star Wars" on a few, but closer inspection determinied that they were all original -they just were cool enough to have the SW "look" to them. Well done!

I may have to take you up on one of your "Grenatars". I'd have to think about how to incorporate my love for Man O' War into one however!

Your War of the Ring (first edition) rating apparently went from a 10 to a 9 and is now back up at a 10. I definately need to play my copy! Your comments however, reflect my same problems with getting it to the table, long set-up and steep learning curve. I do need to just buckle down and do it I think.

Well, anyways Tony, I hope you have a fantastic Christmas and enjoy the Geekgold!



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104. Board Game: Through the Desert [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:315]
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Alan Gilmore
United States
Lawrenceville
Georgia
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I am so glad that I get to participate in this. This seems like something I would do if I had more games.

Well my guess is.................


Through the Desert


It would be cool if I win as I have been wanting this game forever.

Thanks,

happyabg



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Merry Christmas Alan!

I see you've recently played Dungeon Lords (but don't appear to own it yet), but I still wanted to ask you how you liked it. Was it as good as people are saying? I downloaded the rules and read through them (for the most part) and I have to say the rule book is a little unorthodox to say the least. i found it odd how there were almost like "lessons" that you needed to do in order to understand how to correctly interpret the combat. Is the game really as complicated as the rule book would lead you to believe? It looks like it would be a lot of fun and I will certainly make the effort to learn how to play, but I'm really leery of ever being able to teach it to anyone in my family due to the complexity implied in the rules. Any advice you could give from someone who has actually played the game would be a huge help to me!


Looking at some of your other game ratings...

Small World only rates a 6.5 for you. What doesn't deliver for you or what don't you like? I played it quite a bit at first, but recently haven't even had a desire to play - maybe the two (three) expansions will bring some life back into this for me.

Power Grid: Factory Manager is another recent Essen release you've played that I'm curious about. This one doesn't seem to be getting quite the positive buzz that some of the others have, but I'm still wanting to try it for myself ans make up my own mind. What did you think of it? You don't like it as much as Power Grid, but am I making a fair comparison?

I've heard about a lot of disappointment with The Adventurers: The Temple of Chac - the game play is too simplistic, there isn't alot of replayability, ect... but what did you think of it? You have played it 7 times so maybe your feelings are the complete oposite - either way, I'd love to hear what you think of it.

As far as your guess of Through the Desert goes, that caravan is doomed as the game is still here in my collection. Better luck next year Alan.

Merry Christmas!



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105. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:87] [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked]
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Nikki Ebright
United States
Centennial
Colorado (CO)
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Ok, since it's not really over yet - and really, is the spirit of Christmas giving ever really gone? - I will put out an entry.

I made a list of the games you have in your top tier that look good to me, and most of them were already guessed, like 1960, Le Havre, BSG, Puerto Rico and Last Night on Earth, so I won't guess any of them.

I'm also not going to guess games you've given away in the past, my foible from last year.

So that leaves me with a few options...I'm looking at the following:

In The Year of the Dragon - because it's fun and has cool parts);
Catan Cities and Knights - because you know I'll eventually get the base game, after I accumulate a bunch of the expansive parts;
Dominion - because you want to make sure everyone has a chance to play it with all the new cards;
or Memoir 44 - because it's a cool 2-player wargame like game.

So with those options, I'm going to pick...Memoir 44. It has a ton of expansions and seems like a pretty cool game (I've only played it once). Of course I will really kick myself if you pick In the Year of the Dragon.

I'm sorry I missed this but I can understand your need to cut it off. I STILL hope you get back to work soon and I look forward to reading your responses to the entries. I really do go back and read last year's from time to time and I really did appreciate your comments last year to my entry.

Happy Holidays to you!

Edited because I have no brain. Mmmm, brains...



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Hi Nikki! Merry Christmas to you!

We've got some things to talk about so let me just say that I unfortunately did not send away my copy of Memoir '44 as it is one of a few games that my youngest daughter loves playing with me. We have just scratched the sufrace of all the scenarios and I hope to log in more plays with her this year.

Last year I made some recommendations to you of a few games you should try out. You had already played a few of those, but let's see what is left.

Here's my recommendation (and the ones you had already played last year but hadn't logged or rated):

Shadows over Camelot
Pandemic
Settlers of Catan
Attika
Colosseum
Guillotine
Lost Cities and finally,
Manilla.

This leaves us with:

Shadows over Camelot
Attika
Lost Cities
Manilla

I checked your collection and didn't see any of these listed but then I thought maybe you still had played some of them even if you didn't own them. Success!

You have played both:

Shadows over Camelot
Lost Cities

over the last year, so I have to ask - what did you think of them? I prefer Lost Cities: The Board Game over Lost Cities and since you've played them both, what is your preference?

You've also played Battlestar Galactica as well as Shadows over Camelot so, again - which is your preference and why?

Actually as I sit here and look at your list of played games, you have been exposed to quite a bit in the last year! I see all kinds of top notch games in there...

Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age, Dominion, Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery, Ghost Stories, El Grande, Thurn and Taxis, Le Havre, Die Macher and Small World. I think Die Macher was another recommendation too. Are any of these games ones you're considering getting for yourself?

Finally, tell me why Space Alert is your Top rated game - and why you don't own a copy yet!

Thanks for playing again this year and I hope you and your family have a very special Christmas!



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106. Board Game: Fury of Dracula [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:250]
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Andy Tinkham
United States
Shoreview
Minnesota
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I think this might be too late, but since there's 114 posts on the thread, and I've counted that you've made 4 posts, ManOWarPlayer, I'm going to hope that someone else somewhere either just made a comment in addition to the entry, or made multiple entries and gets coal.

My guess is Fury of Dracula. I don't have a lot of basis for this, other than this game has seemed to start appearing on my radar a lot lately, and maybe it has on yours too which makes you want to give it away.

I do think we'd make good geekbuddies, though unfortunately that would be a one way street mostly so far - I don't have a lot of content created at the moment and not a lot of time to create it either.

Anyhow, this is really great for you to do this - thank you! Hopefully your employment situation will improve soon!



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Merry Christmas to you and your family Andy!

You've picked one of my absolute FAVORITE games - Fury of Dracula. I recently just played this one too (I - as Mina, dispatched the fowl demon of the night with 2 stakes.) It's not a game I get to play as often as I'd like because my wife finds it a bit slow. Until I get tired of it as well, it'll be here on the shelf I think - maybe I should try to find a 2nd copy to give away for a later contest? Hmmm....

It's pretty obvious from your collection that Pandemic is your absolute favorite game with it being the only game you've rated a 10 and having logged 35 plays of it as well (the most plays of all your games). I'd recommend Pandemic: On the Brink to you but you've already got that - unplayed though. You are reeeeaaally going to love this expansion - it adds so much to the game without complicating or altering the game drastically.

Alhough our BGG Correlation is really high (0.77) we only have 8 games in common and therefore the rating has little significance. I do agree that we make good Geekbuddies though as we are pretty damn close ratings wise on the games that matter. Consider yourself added.

You've got Zooloretto listed with 1 playing and no rating, yet you own 1..2..3..(counting)..11..12 expansions for it! TWELVE! So what is the deal? Do you love the game after only 1 playing and went out and bought every expansion (Very OCD'ish like me!) OR do you have more playings (and still love it) but have just been lax with your logging of games? Zooloretto is a game I have never even seen much less played. What's it like and what do you like about it?

Thanks for the well wishes with the employment... things may be in motion for at least a short term temp job starting in January.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!



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107. Board Game: Cleopatra and the Society of Architects [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:558]
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Bob McMurray
United States
LaGrange
Illinois
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Thanks so much Scott for doing this again this year. I look forward to it all year practically.

My view is that the game will either be a 7 or an 8 this year. Ok, there is no way you're parting with a 10 and your 9s are awfully close to your 10s to you. So, I think it's pretty clear that it's a 7 or an 8.

Also, with shipping costs not a factor to you I think all box sizes are now in play....That really opens up the possibility for a DOW game to be shipped now.

So, with that point of view I'm going with:

Cleopatra and the Society of Architects

Scott, my best wishes for a great Christmas season and a 2010 that is a might bit better than 2009!

Your BGG friend,

Bob

Also - great list of geeks who lay in wait for your contest. From what I can see you have a good group of GeekFriends.



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Merry Christmas Bob! Nice to see you back here again

Once again, you are participating in my Christmas Contest! I am reasonably sure that you have participated in more of these than anyone else (though there may be others tied with you).

Your guesses over the past years contests:

2005 Junta
2006 Stephenson's Rocket
2007 Serrenissima
2008 Mississippi Queen
2009 Cleopatra and the Society of the Architects

I'm sorry to inform you that LAST YEAR'S game was Cleopatra and the Society of the Architects and I don't do repeats! I am however, completely ecstatic to see you here FIVE YEARS in a row! That is very cool and it deserves an appropriate reply.

Last year you mentioned that you were in the middle of a racing game renaissance and you mentioned several games that you had on your wishlist (as well as your nephew's) but you were holding out until Christmas morning to see what your Secret Santa had sent. The anticipation is killing me so I have to ask - did you get any of those? Have you been able to try all (or any) of them out yet? Gimme some recommendations if you have, I'm interested in both Powerboats & Leader 1.

So what is your favorite co-op at the moment and why? If you were to ask me that question I think I'd have to say... um... Pand - no... Doo - nooooo... Fury of... Damn. Ok, I'm going with Battlestar Galactica (for now). It's a great game and it looks like you haven't played it yet so let me be the one to give you a very high recommendation considering what your Top 10 is. Wait... scratch that I see you've already beat me to it... TWICE! Hmmm... No rating for it though. Did you like it? I reaaaally enjoy the whole Cylon aspect to the game. Since you've played Shadows over Camelot 165 times total (but only 4 times this past year) I'm thinking that maybe you are ready to move on to something similar, yet different.

You've added 36 plays of Pandemic and another 9 plays of Fury of Dracula this past year. I can only envy your playing habits and I really wish I was a part of your gaming group!

What is jumping out at me that is absent from your collection is any of the [url=http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgamefamily/3866/harvest-trilogy]Harvest Trilogy [url] of games by Uwe Rosenberg. Not interested or just no opportunity yet?

Bob, the more I look at your profile, games and playing habits, the more I wish LaGrange was about 10 minutes away.

I would like to wish you and your family the absolute nicest holiday that you guys can possbly have. I'd tell you to play some games but I'm just preachin to the choir!

Merry Christmas my friend!



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108. Board Game: Beowulf: The Legend [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:1285]
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California
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True Blue Jon
United States
Vancouver
Washington
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Hi Scott! You're awesome! Ever think about making the trek up to Portland in March to come play with me and a bunch of other great gamers at Gamestorm?

Have you tired Niagara yet? You asked me about it last year and I never got back to you. I still play it occasionally and love it still.

My guess this year is Beowulf: The Legend. It's a great game that just doesn't get a lot of appreciation. I'd love to add it to my collection.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas!

EDIT: And now I see someone else already picked Beowulf! Cool! So I'll change my pick to Swashbuckler, a game I've been interested in it since I first saw it here on BGG.



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Merry Christmas John!

Your collection has gone up from 541 in 2007 to 570 as of Dec 21st 2009 - that's about 15 games a year - which is good by any measure...Well done! your past (incorrect) guesses of Attika (2007) and Warrior Knights (2008) are now joined by this year's guess of Swashbuckler - a fun little game by the way that could really use a re-do with some awesome components!

You might be surprised to know that I do remember that you actually were a part of this contest back in 2005. You didn't actually make a guess during that one, but only had dropped in to thank me for being a Geekbuddy - which I thought was very nice and it has been something I recall every year that I do this.

You'll be happy to know that I HAVE played Niagara since we last chatted in 2008. I gave a copy to a good friend of mine as a Birthday gift and he's brought it over a few times to play.One of these days, I'll probably end up getting my own copy too. Hopefully you got a chance to get a copy of Beowulf: The Legend from the Fantasy Flight Sale recently - I think it was a ridiculously low price of $10 or something.

Jon, you also have "It's a Wonderful Life" listed as a favorite movie and it is one of mine also. To some, it may seem a bit sappy to have that as a favorite movie, but I don't care, the message the movie delivers of the importance of your friends and family is one of the most important truths I can think of. ANYTHING is tolerable with support from a good member of either group. Clarence (the Guardian Angel's) message is one I don't think I'll ever forget:

"Remember, no man is a failure who has friends."

When things are tough (like these months of unemployment have been) I just remember that I'm grateful for the abundance of friends I do have.

It IS a Wonderful Life Jon, and I hope your Christmas is too.

Merry Christmas!



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109. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:11]
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California
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Gudjon Torfi Sigurdsson
Iceland
Isafjordur
Isafjardarbaer
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Hello there.

My guess is that you'll be giving Power Grid away. After looking through your impressive collection (I'm still drying the drool off my shirt and chin), it seems like Power Grid hasn't made a good impression.

Cheers,
Gudjon



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Merry Christmas Gudjon!

I have to say I love your Avatar - even if it did take me a few minutes to realize what I was looking at! Well done!

Of all your games rated a 10 (Pandemic, Ticket to Ride: USA 1910, Alhambra & Photo Trivia: Potpourri Game), I'd have to pick Pandemic as my favorite. I really enjoy co-op games - probably because I like the social aspect of gaming alot and co-op games really bring out that element.

I spent a few minutes looking at some of your Icelandic games, but there isn't a whole lot of information on them. It sounds like a perfect opportunity for you to take some photos, write some reviews and upgrade the database for these games. I bet you could earn quite a bit of in the process too!

Tell me why I need to get a copy of Mystery of the Abbey - you have it rated a 9 and mention that your family loves it. Is it similar to a game like Clue? I've seen it in the stores but just never had any curiosity about the game to look into it more. Any comments would be appreciated!

As for your guess of Power Grid, it's still here - matter of fact I just picked up the two Essen promo cards for it!

I hope you have a great Christmas up there in Iceland,

Merry Christmas to you Gudjon!



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110. Board Game: Shadows over Camelot [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:252]
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Diego Molina
Chile
Santiago
RM
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My guess is Shadows over Camelot. You have it pretty much figured it out and it has been sliding on your ratings, but at first it was a blast with you and your family. So, you may want to give the same blast to somebody else. You're not just giving up a game, but a "blast experience" with it



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Merry Christmas Diego!

I was reading about the awesome sounding cake made from many layers of waffles and sweetened consdensed milk. You say that you need a sweet tooth to enjoy it and I'm here to tell you that I DO have that sweet tooth! This sweet tooth of mine is evident in this story I'm about to tell you...

We like to take a family vacation down to Los Angeles once a year and while we are down there, we always take the kids to "The Happiest Place on Earth - Disneyland. This is something of a tradition that I've been doing all of their lives as it was something that my parents did for me when I was young. Once inside the park, we would always have breakfast at this little restaurant on Main Street tucked away between buildings and one of their specialties was a "French Toast Cinnamon Roll" - which was basically a huge and gooey cinnamon roll dipped in egg batter and cooked like french toast and served with a little pitcher of maple syrup and a dish of vanilla icing to slather over it as well. The thing was huge and must have been an outrageous amount of calories but I'd always order it year after year after year and I'd clean my plate every time!

About 6 years ago they inexplicably stopped making this and took it off the menu. Every time we'd go down, I'd have to ask Oscar when they were going to bring back the French Toast Cinnamon Roll (Oscar's been the head chef in this restaurant for at least 20 years and he always comes by every table when he is there).

"Management decided it was too inefficient to make and took it off the menu." he told me just about every time I asked. I told him that it was my favorite item and hoped that someday it would return. I did this every trip we made down there and it was always the same conversation between us.

Last March (before I was laid off), a couple of friends and I went down there for my Birthday on a whim and of course we went to that place again. Much to my surprise, the French Toast Cinnamon Rolls had returned! I made a point out of telling Oscar that the whole reason why they returned was due to me! Of course, he agreed.

I think my sweet tooth is a genetic thing as my Grandfather was the same way. Don't make me decide between two desserts in a restaurant - just bring them both!

Ok... got sidetracked there - back to games. Tell me about Blue Moon City. I've never played so I'm not sure what it is all about. You also own an expansion set for it - what does it add to the game?

You've got Doom: The Boardgame listed as "Want To Play". Have you not had a chance to play it yet or did you enjoy it so much you are anxious to play it again? Doom: The Boardgame is one of my favorites too - I'm in the process of slooooolwy painting my miniatures for it - but the ones I've finished do look pretty good.

Well, I've got a few more of these to do Diego so I best be moving along. Have a great Christmas down there in Chile and be sure to play lots of games with your family to ring in the New Year!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!



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111. Board Game: Queen's Necklace [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:1298]
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California
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   Conserve energy:    Play Board Games!
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Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice.
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Shake your business up and pour it. I don't have all day.
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Okay, so we're still hazarding guesses even though we can't win (the contest is already over). There's always hope for a microbadge!

I'd say Queen's Necklace will be the one given away. It has a good rating, but only one logged play. Just the type of game you'd want to give away if you were paring down your collection, and hoping to score well with a surprised recipient!



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Merry Christmas

I regret to inform you that last year's guess of Cartagena was just as accurate as this year's guess of Queen's Necklace Unfortunately. I think I'll be able to get Microbadges again this year - so hopefully that will be a nice consolation.

I was reading your "Correlated Group Scores" section of your profile and I could use a little bit more explanation of it. I think I see what you are doing, but I don't want to say in case I'm way off and end up looking like a fool! What do you consider to be a good corellation score?

As I go through your game comments again this year, I have to say to those that may not not know - you provide some of the most helpful and interesting comments for your games than just about anyone else that comes to mind. I know that I can go to any game that you have rated and be sure to find detailed comments about what is good (or bad) in your opinion about a game.

Even better is that often your comments are exactly how I feel about a game. For example, your comments on Railways of the World are right on the money:

Railroad Tycoon was the next logical step after Ticket to Ride and Union Pacific. Railroad Tycoon provides additional layers of complexity by allowing players to lay out their tracks, instead of providing pre-printed segments. Set collection isn't a part of Railroad Tycoon. Segments, or "links" as they're called, are not exclusive: it is possible for other players to use your rails, to your benefit.

Efficiently building your infrastructure, managing your debt, and delivering the desired goods to each city is the core of this game. Each one of those items sounds like it is complicated, but Wallace pulls it all off with aplomb. The rules feel very streamlined, and are easy to understand. Once a few example turns have been provided, most new players are ready to jump in with both feet.

Production values abound, almost to the point of being ostentatious. The box is huge, and heavy with components. Players use various hex counters to lay out their tracks. Obviously that is not a problem for veteran gamers, but the eyes of new gamers can gloss over when faced with their first hex map. The map itself is gargantuan, having three, tri-fold sections which are laid together on the table. I think that I have a fairly large dining room table, and the full game board does fit, although there isn't a lot of extra room along the sides. Side note: four small (3/4") binder clips work very well to hold the board together during play.



Notable (at least for me) games in your collection missing comments and/or plays:

El Grande
Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage
Gazobu
N/A
Die Macher
Pandemic

I'd love to see what you think of these games.

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and spend lots of time with family and friends,

Happy Holidays!



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112. Board Game: Galaxy: The Dark Ages [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:2594]
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Quentin S
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I know this has been said, but I looked through the list and I came to the same conclusion as someone else. I'm gonna say Galaxy: the Dark Ages. I hope you'll draw straws for this one if we are both right.



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Merry Christmas Quentin!

I received Galaxy: The Dark Ages as a gift from one of my participants the first year I ran this contest so it's a game that I really treasure and will not be on it's way to you I regret to inform you.

You only have two games rated a 10... I've asked others this same question so now it's your turn. If you had to pick one game between Dominion & Agricola, which would it be and why? I see you have both Dominion expansions so I think I might already know the answer, but then again, I could be reading too much into that.

You are another big fan of Galaxy Trucker and I'm pretty much convinced that I need to get it. In case I have a small doubt or two left, what could you say to push me over the edge?

One thing I noticed is that you have quite a few games up for trade - with some surprising ones too (Twilight Imperium (Third Edition), Race for the Galaxy & BattleLore come to mind). Are these games purchases you regret, a game that you've become tired of, or something you enjoy but either can't find the time or other players to get it to the table?

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas Quentin!



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113. Board Game: Railways of the World [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:53]
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Fire Lord
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Fort Collins
Colorado
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Hoping 2010 will be a great year for you.

I pick....Railroad Tycoon.



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CONGRATULATIONS Steve!

Merry Christmas Steve!

YOU are the big winner in this year's contest and I have to say it has been quite an extraordinary trip here.

When I first thought of doing this contest again, I hemmed and hawed over which game I would be giving away. Being unemployed, I wasn't sure what I could afford to ship and what I wanted to give away. I was first thinking of covering the shipping which would limit the game I could give away and I wasn't satisfied with that solution so then I came up with the idea of having the winner cover the shipping. That elimnated the restriction on the size of the game, but I had a few games in mind (can't tell ya which as there is always NEXT year!) and at the bottom of the list was an extra copy of Railways of the World that I've had for a couple years (I'm pretty sure it's not the International version Steve).

I've been holding onto it as I am a tinkerer and I've been toying with several variants that would involve using the additional track and cubes in this 2nd copy and I know how hard the game is to get.

Finally I just decided "It's CHRISTMAS and I need to be a bit more generous and just give away something that would be sure to make a big impact on whoever took the "longshot" chance that I'd give away something like this in my present state of employment. I was hoping someone WOULD take that chance as I knew it would be an awesome game to get regardless of the situation - Railways of the World is just a magnificent game - I don't rate it a 10 for nothing!

Once I made the decision, the rest of the contest fell into place and I posted the notice so people could enter.

An amazing thing happened however.

If you've read the earlier entries, you'll remember that:
Mr. Green
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secretly sent me a copy of Taj Mahal as a Secret Santa gift and due to a mix-up at FunAgain games, I unfortunately found out who it was from and Lenny had realized it was a duplicate game I had too.

With his permission, I also gave that game away this year too.

As if by MAGIC, I received a 2nd present from "someone else" who was enjoying the contest and the Christmas Spirit it brought out. I have my suspicions on who the 2nd Secret Santa is but there were no clues and I will not try and find out who it might be.

In a completely astounding moment of serendipity, the 2nd game I received was one on my wishlist yet after considering what I gave away, it has turned out to be the PERFECT gift.

The 2nd game I received is none other than Railways of the World What are the odds? I can now still do my variants, I have extra track and cubes (although these cubes are a different size for some reason) and I also get the Mexico map and have 6 additional colors of Player locomotives to pick from!

I think there is a something very Magical going on with all that has happened between the way the contest has run, the games that were given away and the gifts that I received. I don't want to try and figure out what the odds of all this are of happening, but it is certainly more likely that you could count the number of stars in the sky!

I've already received an email that your package has already arrived and I'm happy that it made it there in one piece. So everyone else is aware, I notified Steven (and Brian) about a week and a half ago so we could be sure they got their gifts prior to Christmas as I knew that I was going to be hard pressed to get this done by Christmas.

I hope you enjoy the game Steve!

So how about we talk a little bit about your game collection too?

Good. I was hoping you'd say that.

Wow, I had no idea that you were relatively new to the world of BBG and boardgames! That is so cool! I think that someone coming into the hobby now has SO many choices and opportunities to really define a nice collection from the very beginning instead of buying just about everything that came out like I did as I got into Eurogames.

You are another fan of Race for the Galaxy and if you've been reading these entries you'll see I've been pretty much convinced to give the game another try despite the elaborate icongraphy and slim chance that I'll be able to get the wife into the game.

You and I are in the same boat with Dominion - we each just own the base set and are fallign behind on the expansions. I've played Dominion: Intrigue but I think I'm actually more interested in Dominion: Seaside from the cards I've seen.

If I were to make some game recomendations to you, I'd say to add a few classic Euro's to your collection to give you some background with a lot of the "standard" mechanics that you now see popping up in so many games. It's interesting to see where these actions either originated or were used in really successful or popular ways.

For an Area Control game, you can't beat El Grande for the sheer simplicity, depth and brilliance of that kind of game.

For an Action Point game, definately try Tikal - it's not only one of the best of that genre, it's one of the most beautiful games you'll ever play.

Finally for a great game involving Role Selection, you need to play the #2 game out there, Puerto Rico. Although I like Agricola more, Puerto Rico is still a ground breaking game that you should try.

Oh.. and get that copy of Railways of the World to the table as soon as possible and let us all know what you think of it!

Congratulations again Steve, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Fantastic New Year my friend!

Enjoy!



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