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Dice Tower Secret Santa 2010 Results
Tom Vasel
United States
Homestead
Unspecified
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This is a geeklist where folks can post what they've gotten from the Secret Santa.

Let the stories begin!

and

Merry Christmas!!

Note: this is the Dice Tower Secret Santa, not the BGG Secret Santa.
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226. Board Game: Small World: Cursed! [Average Rating:7.57 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.57 Unranked]
Victor Frandsen
United States
San Jose
California
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holy crap my ss freakin went way over what i even expected or even hoped, and he still remains secret.

i got a big package today when i woke up.

here are the contents:

Small World
Small World: Cursed!
Race for the Galaxy: The Brink of War
Dominion

it totally got my day off to a great start which i totally needed considering the things that happened the rest of the day.

but anywho... thanks Secret Santa... whoever you are.

Edit: my ss has come forth, and shown himself. thanks again david
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227. Board Game: Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization [Average Rating:8.21 Overall Rank:4]
Dianna
United States
Louisville
Kentucky
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When we heard about the Dice Tower Secret Santa from the podcast, my husband was a bit hesitant to do it. After all, we had indulged in rather expensive electronic toys this fall in the form of twin iPhones. And, truth be told, being new paaarents to a one-year old was severely cutting into our ability to manage anything more complicated than hitting 'Play' while streaming the Colbert Report over dinner. Our situation wasn’t exactly going to improve with another baby due in February.

However, I convinced him that it would do as a combination Christmas-Birthday present (the poor fellow is born on New Years Eve). It’d be a fun project for me to do during the day (though I have to admit, gift aside, I haven’t done as well as I’d like. Speaking of which, if you’re our Secret Santee, would you like Shortbread or Chocolate Fudge?). When it came to the wish list, however, we did mostly attempt to be practical. What games can we play with the few people we see? What's on your wishlist that we still want, considering it hasn’t been updated in ages? Is there anything we'll so certain to buy for ourselves that we should skip it?

That said, one thing slipped through. When I was in college, my then-boyfriend bought Civilization III. I proceeded to spend seven hours in the middle of finals parked in his dorm room (his roommate had to throw me out to get a shower) leading the Russians to victory under Catherine the Great (and turned my home city of Philadelphia, conquered through cultural superiority, into an industrial powerhouse). It was glorious, even if cramming for biology wasn't. My husband though, spends the entire day on the computer at work and really has no interest in doing the same at home. And, said game was so very well rated, was from a designer whose work we loved, and just looked so good that I all but insisted it stay on the list.

Fast forward to last week, when a box came to the door, quietly announced in an email. A good sized, satisfyingly heavy box, with definitely something fairly hefty inside. I opened the box and tore open the wrapping paper over the phone - "Oh, Through the Ages! I wasn't expecting that!" Having a few hours while the baby was asleep, I decided to poke around on BGG. The first thing I saw was, oh. Playing Time: 240 minutes. That's what, 4 hours.

OH MY GOD, I've made a horrible mistake.

I felt immensely guilty - after all, this was, essentially, his birthday present and Christmas all rolled into one. When on earth are we going to find 4 hours to learn, never mind play this game? Maybe we shouldn’t open it? Maybe we should math trade it? I apologized profusely when my husband came home that night (I really hadn’t opened the box in the six hours in between lunch and dinner), but he broke into the wrapping and got the rules out - not too long, after all. We read them through that night. Not too complicated, actually. Maybe we can handle this...

The next night, we decided to give it a stab. The baby was asleep, dinner was cleared, and we settled in for the Advanced (mid-level) game. We could always stop, right? Let’s see, who wants Moses? Oh, the Library of Alexandaria’s nice... did you want that Irrigation? Oh, sorry! We made a few missteps along the way - I lost count while paying for some workers, a certain lack of shuffling resulted in a very lopsided Age II and then, around midnight, our worse fears were realized.

“Is that the baby?” Is he going to take that Rich Land? I really need it this round.
I cocked my head to the side. “Well, let’s see if he’d settle down...” Bother. Maybe I should grow my population this turn.
My husband shook his head. “I’ll get him in a minute.” Arg. I’m out of food. AGAIN.
“Hmm what? Maybe he'll last another turn."
Luckily, the baby did settle down back to sleep before I would have to end this story with winner of “The Worst Mother of the Year” award. The game was that distracting and that good. By the time we were done (victory was mine!), it was one o'clock in the morning.

Let me repeat that: 1:00 AM. Lest we forget, we’re new parents whose most valuable (and rare) resource is uninterrupted sleep (and in fact, the young fellow woke up at 2 AM that night and didn’t settle down for an hour). If I remember all the way back to Thursday, I got four hours of sleep. My husband got less - he had to check something for work when we finished the game for half an hour and then walk nearly two miles to work the next day (the car was in the shop).

And you know, it still felt good in the morning. Through the Ages is immensely satisfying - easy to learn, but with clearly great depth and re-playability (and I hope we’ll have a chance to play it tonight - we’re done dinner now, and the baby’s happy...). I doubt we’d have tried or bought the game if we were being sensible and practical - it takes a Secret Santa to get us what we really want!

(for Robert's bookkeeping,
Ryan G
United States
Louisville
Kentucky
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is my husband, who you have down for the BGG user ID for this Secret Santa entry)
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228. Board Game: Cutthroat Caverns [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:802]
Mike B
United States
Lubbock
Texas
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Well my Secret Santa did a good job keeping secret. I had not heard anything from him but after a pretty rough couple days I came home from work to find a package from Funagain Games with Cutthroat Caverns and a $5 gift certificate waiting for me.

Thank you Secret Santa for this great pick me up!

Merry Christmas!
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229. Board Game: The Pillars of the Earth: Builders Duel [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:1378]
Erika Kern
United States
Snellville
Georgia
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I came home from work and found a box from CoolStuff at my door. Thinking it might be the games I ordered to send to my Secret Santa target, I opened it up and fished through the packing peanuts to find Pillars of the Earth: Builders Duel. cool So cool! (But not what I ordered for MY target!) I quickly realized that it must be my gift, as I'd recently heard from my Secret Santa with a tracking number.

I did happen to feel another game in the box when I was fishing out the first one, but since I didn't want to open my gift before Xmas, I quickly averted my eyes and did NOT catch a glimpse of the game. My daughter has wrapped both gifts for me to officially open on Xmas Eve. I'll report back then!

Thanks, Secret Santa.. who I saw from the e-card is Bill Halloran!! You're awesome!!
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230. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:88] [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked]
Mark Malnar
United States
Mentor
Ohio
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Its a Merry Christmas at the Malnar Home.

Tonight I spyed a lone box sitting upon a fresh snow drift in the middle of the northeastern Ohio snow storm. The funny thing about this box is it was surrounded by clean fresh snow devoid of any footsteps.....it could be only one thing......yes! Santa was here!

Thanks Santa!
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231. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: Pegasus Expansion [Average Rating:7.79 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.79 Unranked]
Kevin Prickett
United States
Massillon
Ohio
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I was driving to go to my game night and as I looked at my front door one last time, I noticed a package in a plastic bag. Do I turn around or just call to have the bag dragged inside......I have to turn around just to check. It could be one of the many packages my wife has been receiving, but I would not be able to enjoy game night unless I know. I stop the car on the no parking side of the street, run up to the door grab the package and jump back into the car. (I wonder if anybody see me snatching packages from steps) It's from Funagain Games, but I still need to know what is inside. While driving, I open the plastic bag to pull out the box. The packing peanuts spill (please do not try this, not a good idea while driving) but within the box :Battlestar Galactica: Pegasus Expansion and more peanuts then: Castle Panic. Thanks Santa,
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232. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:66]
Chris Doyle
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I asked to have my Secret Santa ship to my work, and about two weeks ago, I received a package from CoolStuff Inc. (By the way, they did a fabulous job packing and included a Christmas card...very Cool indeed). I thought about waiting to open the packages, but decided against it. And, I was lucky enough to get 2 games I have really been looking forward to getting. Not only Cosmic Encounter, but also Race for the Galaxy. So, I am sending out a big 'Thank You' to Secret Santa, whoever and wherever they are...Here's hoping you get a great surprise or two as well.
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Keith Creighton
United States
Decatur
IL
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In another example of North Pole inefficiency, Santa dispatched my orders into the wrong hands. Luckily for me, the kind stranger passed along the Breakthrough and Mediterranean orders. I could not have done this alone!

Thanks Santa!

PS...a card and movie were included and I have sent them on the way to their respective locations!
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234. Board Game: Look Away! [Average Rating:6.38 Unranked]
Robert Kibble
United Kingdom
Slough
Unspecified
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I received an email from my SS saying I'd be getting two sets of things, one a game, and one home-designed. Intriguing. A parcel duly arrived, and is sitting under a blank space where a tree will shortly be, sad and lonely. Either it needs to be joined by other presents (and presumably a tree) fairly soon, or it will need some protection from my ever-increasingly-excited 6 year old son, who has an inkling that there's a new game to be examined (the cult of the new is perhaps forgivable in someone that new himself).

I am now awaiting Xmas morning, when hopefully my wife's presents will distract her from the addition of another game to the household.

Edit

Opening the parcel (which was nice, as it evened up the number of presents under our tree nicely), inside was Survive: Escape from Atlantis!


Perfect. Just the right level for both wife and son, so I don't think it'll remain in its unplayed state for long. Thanks, Santa! (And I'll edit again when the other more mysterious package mentioned above arrives...)

Another Edit

The extras promised arrived today. Marvellous. A deck of cards with each of the top 52 games from BGG (I just checked, and only have 23 - curse you, Santa, for reminding me all I don't have!), a shogi-styled keyring (pieces within the fob - very nice, but too small to picture), a couple of useful Secret Santa 2010 post-it pads, and a card. Lovely bonus. Makes it feel all Christmassy again.

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235. Board Game: Dungeon Lords [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:114]
James To My Friends
Netherlands
Eindhoven
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Santa is a wonderful wonderful man.



Dungeon Lords, Tinner's Trail and Christmas wishes arrived today.

Can't wait to get these onto the table.
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236. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:143]
Trudy Buwalda
Netherlands
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Thank you Sinterklaas(The dutch Santa Clause)/Moenja for all the great presents.

Not only I got Hive (Carbon) but I also got Mystery of the Abbey and Munchkin! And all gifts came with great poems (a sinterklaas tradition).

I must have been very good this year!

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237. Board Game: Dungeon Lords [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:114]
Craig Hargraves
Australia
Morayfield
Queensland
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So today I received the last part of my present from Santa. But to begin at the biginning:

I received an early mail from Santa saying:

Quote:
Well good day to you, oh target in the land of curtains that don't fade. I hope you've been well behaved this year. Perhaps I'll have to check with your wife whether or not you really deserve any presents.

Assuming of course that you're getting anything other than coal, I do have a question for you. In addition to what I decide is the best present for you, I realise that I have a spare copy of one of the games on your wishlist. An early release which required some corrections to be made to some of the cards. Would you be willing to receive something second hand or do you only allow new copies with perfect components to enter your collection.

Hope the weather improves.


Well I said that I had no problem with that and pretty soon I had received a nice little present wrapped in white (from a fellow Australian no less). Santa said that the size of the box was a give away as to what was inside but I must admit it hasn't jumped out at me yet...

Well it took some time for part two to show up but it turns out that Santa was having problems.

Quote:
So the delay we were experiencing caused by ghosts has been averted and we can move on to the feature presentation. Unfortunately this will instead take us underground where there is no co-operation. But I'm sure that an experienced dungeoneer such as yourself will have no problems with this turn of events.

I hope you enjoy all your presents and have a merry time this Christmas.


Hmmm... So I was going to be getting Ghost Stories but now I'm getting something else. From my wish list what jumpred out at me was either Dungeon Lords or a Descent expansion.

Well today my package finally arrived! And it contained not one but two square presents nicely wrapped in red. Now by memory Dungeon Lords isn't a square box so I'm leaning towards a couple of Descent expansions.

So right now I have two red and one white present sitting temptingly beneath my tiny Christmas tree. While I don't know what I"ve received yet I want to say a big thanks to my Secret Santa for their generosity. I can't wait to let the red and white paper fly come Christmas morning!

18th Dec. Pre-Christmas Edit: Today I happened to see and have a shake of a copy of Dungeon Lords. My memory had failed me and it is indeed a square box and has a very distinctive feel to the (gentle) shake which matches one of my presents quite well... So Dungeon Lords is well and truly back in the running! I must admit that the whole waiting till Christmas to unwrap really brings back the Christmas excitement from childhood! laugh

Post Christmas Edit: So there was indeed a copy of Dungeon Lords in one of my red boxes. The second red box took me by surprise as I found a copy of Dominion: Prosperity which I wasn't expecting at all. Well done Santa!

 


And finally my little white package turned out to be a sleeved copy of Innovation!



A big thanks again to my Secret Santa for all of their (considerable) generosity! Santa managed to choose three games off my list that I was certainly interested in having but probably wouldn't have gotten around to getting anytime soon. For me that's the perfect choice! It was a Merry Christmas indeed!
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238. Board Game: Summoner Wars [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:226] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Jeff Lingwall
United States
Blue Springs
MO
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Santa sent this as a teaser, and said that more is on the way. Woohoo! I'll update this once the reindeer arrive.

Thanks Santa!
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239. Board Game: Tales of the Arabian Nights [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:228]
Rory O'Connor
United Kingdom
Belfast
Co. Antrim
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I want to say thank you to my Santaz Helper. My Secret Santa gift arrived on Friday wrapped in some neat looking Dork Tower gift wrapping. The note said not to open until Christmas. I was going to comply, honest, but when I went to move the parcel, it ripped ever so slighty - enough to see what the game was - Tales of the Arabian Nights. Don't worry though, the gift will stay in it's wrapping until Christmas day!

Receiving this was a real (but pleasant) surprise, as for some reason I had been assuming I would receive Cosmic Encounter. Don't ask me why. The fact that the game can be played solitaire means it will definitely get played this Christmas. Yaahay!

I want to point out that my Secret Santa accused me...no, threatened me, saying that I might not have been good this year. Indeed! ;D

Merry Christmas everyone.

Rory
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240. Board Game: BattleLore [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:151]
Andrew Carter
Canada
Hamilton
Ontario
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Another gift from my Secret Santa.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bE_hSwAYXII
For those of you who've not bothered to watch the video, Santa tells me his elves have advised him that there's a fourth package on the way. Is there no end to Santa's generosity?
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241. Board Game: Betrayal at House on the Hill [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:333]
Audere est Facere
United Kingdom
Grays
Essex
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"Have you been a good geek this year?" mused my Dice Tower Secret Santa, on the gift tag attached to the blood red gift-wrapped parcel I received.

The choice of coloured paper proved prophetic as I unwrapped it to reveal:

Betrayal at House on The Hill

I'm half expecting Dickens' ghosts of Past, Present and Future may be included as in among the "Haunts" when I get this one to the table over the holiday period.

Many thanks Simon and Merry Christmas to you, the listeners and all at the 'Dice Tower'.

News Update! Not long after the arrival of the above gift I was sent a message hinting at the arrival of a second. This turned out to be Ticket to Ride: USA 1910. Thanks Simon for this unexpected addition!
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242. Board Game: At the Gates of Loyang [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:186]
Craig Inglesby
United States
Oregon
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Been wanting this game!!! Thanks Secret Santa for the game a nice Christmas card!!! Hope you too have a great Christmas season!!

Craig,
Antelope, OR
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243. Board Game: Small World [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:108] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Benny Meyers
United States
Lisle
Illinois
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My gifts actually came about two weeks ago, but I was naughty and didn't post right away - odd, considering the giant haul I got from Santa. I found a box from Funagain at my door, and inside was both Small World and Small World: Be Not Afraid...! But then Santa sent me a message saying he'd found a great bargain, and I should expect even more. I thought for sure it'd be the other mini expansions, but wow, was I shocked when I opened up the number one item on my wishlist, a brand new Dominion: Prosperity (with lots of sleeves)! Without a doubt, the best Santa ever! Thank you so much, Santa Joe!
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244. Board Game: Brass [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:16]
Bobby Thompson
United States
Elkins
Arkansas
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Got four wrapped packages today. The holly package rattles and the penguins must have ate some of the packing peanuts because that one is heavy.


Will they stay wrapped till Christmas?devil

I'm weak. My room mate is gone on a business trip so I'm left here with my DT:SS wrapped up. They were calling my name. Sooo I open them up to find some locally made chocolate, coffee with a mug, Brass, and Locomotive Werks! I hadn't heard of Locomotive Werks but the description sounds like Automobile (on my list). Thank you Secret Santa!

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245. Board Game: Hive [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:143]
Jon Gorman
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
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Holy Cow! I got spoiled by my Secret Santa.

We've been having issues with the mail to our house so I had the box sent to my wife's place of work. I hadn't thought ahead on that part. This morning the wife sent me a text message stating that a very large and very heavy package had come from my Dice Tower Secret Santa.

I'll confess she was right in her guess that would send me into a little happy dance.

I then realized I had to spend the rest of the day with trickles of hints and teasing from my wife. "It weighed in at 13 pounds". "They packed it well, I can't hear anything when I shake it." "It bounces!"

Ok, she didn't say the last one. Needless to say my anticipation started growing. Then I ended up having to stay a bit late at work. Soon though I rushed home and the wife decided to go pick up Chinese for dinner so I wouldn't have to cook and wait any longer. Well, except she made me eat actually eat dinner first.

She had the dog guard the box. She said she did it to keep it safe, but I know she just didn't want me to open it yet.




After dinner I opened the box and started pulling out goodie after goodie.





On the top was Hive, one of my favorite two player games and also the best game in the world for a bar.

Then I pulled out Dixit & the Dixit Expansion. The wife stopped making fun of me and was entranced by the pretty pictures. I'm thrilled because I've been needing a new party game and this one looks absolutely great.

Then more and more.... Inka, Fraud Squad, Terra Prime and...

finally...
The BoardGameGeek Game!

I haven't yet made it out to a bgg con, but a friend just made his second this year. I stared at his copy of The BoardGameGeek Game he brought back to our last gaming session with gamer envy. Such a geeky, geeky game. (We didn't get time to play it) Well, now I too have a copy.

Here's to hoping one of these years both my Secret Santa and I will cross paths (at bggcon?) and we can enjoy a game of Hive!

Again, just blown away.

A pic of "the haul" as the wife put it:



Happy Holidays to all and to all a good night!
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246. Board Game: Small World [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:108] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Nick A
United States
Exton
Pennsylvania
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The enticing emails, the waiting, the hoping, the excitement... Then the box arrives! To open or not to open? Clearly open is the only logical answer.

Chocolate Chip Cookies, mmmmmmmmm.
Coconut Wafers, drool.
Homemade Candy Cane, without the stripes it's authentic!

3 packages!!!! 1 big, 2 smaller stocking suffers!

To open or not to open?

Open.

Small World! My Secret Santa clearly did some research here. I had a mess of a wishlist and he sorted through it to find the game he felt most matches my likes. Thanks Santa!

2 packages left...

Must... leave... something... for... Christmas... Day...

Will I hold out? We'll see!


Thanks Santa! Thanks Tom! This is my first Secret Santa, and it has been a blast! And to make things crazier, Santa and I apparently went to high schools right around the corner from each other, even though we both live far away from home.

Crazy Christmas Magic! (CCM) (I just patented that)


Edit:

And... no, I didn't hold out.

But I'm glad because it's three small world expansions! The chics, the cursed, and the deck 'o cards! Cool beans! I should be able to play for the first time tomorrow.
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247. Board Game: Neuroshima Hex! [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:157] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Ned Leffingwell
United States
Shreveport
Louisiana
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Awesome!!! Secret Santa sent me a copy of Nueroshima Hex! Just arrived today. Thank you, I've been looking at this one for awhile. I love the post-apocalypse genre and tactical wargames. This seems to fit both. I will definitely be bringing this one to the next Shreveport Game Day. Happy holidays to my SS and everyone.
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248. Board Game: Wok Star [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:1150]
Russell Berman
United States
Long Beach
California
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SHANE HAMLIN ROCKS!
SHANE HAMLIN ROCKS!
SHANE HAMLIN ROCKS!

DID I MENTION THAT SHANE HAMLIN ROCKS!

IF YOU DID NOT FIGURE IT OUT BY NOW SHANE HAMLIM ROCKS!

YOU WANT TO KNOW WHY SHANE HAMLIN ROCKS?

HERE IS WHY SHANE HAMLIN ROCKS!

SHANE HAMLIN ROCKS BECAUSE HE IS MY NOT SO SECRET DICE TOWER SECRET SANTA!

SHANE HAMLIN ROCKS BECAUSE HE SENT ME..

Wok Star




AND SHANE HAMLIN ROCKS BECAUSE HE ALSO SENT ME...

Cosmic Encounter





SO NOW THE WORLD KNOWS WHY SHANE HAMLIN ROCKS!

GO FORTH MY FRIENDS AND SPREAD THE WORD AROUND THE LAND...SHANE HAMLIN ROCKS!!!


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249. Board Game: Buy Low Sell High [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:2338]
Joel Gabelman
United States
San Francisco
California
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I received a call from my doorman that a package had arrived - strange as I was not expecting anything.

I came downstairs, and there was a large package with a note that said (from what I remember):

Sorry this is late - I wanted to get you one gift for each of the 8 nights of Chanukah". Inside the box were the following, besides Buy Low Sell High:

Double or Nothing
Relationship Tightrope
Slide 5
Code 777

Code 777 was on my want list and it's a fun deduction game for sure. Santa was VERY generous on Chanukah! The spirit is wonderful - THANK YOU!


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250. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:30] [Average Rating:7.78 Unranked]
Rob Kelley
United States
Santa Maria
California
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My Secret Santa gift arrived recently. The invoice only contained a note that read "Merry Christmas from the best former co-host of the Dicetower!" Now, I know that there are at least two former cohorts, and they are both listed on the Dice Tower contributors page. My problem is trying to figure out which one! I have been puzzling over this for a while, but Tom's email reminded me that I have not checked in yet.

I am going to have to go with Joe Steadman on this one since he rates Dominion at an 8!

Great gift choice! A game that plays really well two player. My wife has already picked up some decent strategy in our few plays together.

Thanks to everyone involved for making this a fun gift exchange!
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