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A Secret Santa Hunt, or I found out who my Secret Santa is!
Fabio Patricolo
Italy
Bologna
BO
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I registered to the Secret Santa program this year as every single year from the very first edition created by Tom Vasel (BTW, THANKS TOM!!!).
Every year has been funny in its own way. Not always I was taunt, but always I get the thrill to try and found who my Secret Santa was! Not always I succeeded in the quest.
But this year...
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1. Board Game: Duel in the Dark: Early Nights [Average Rating:7.20 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.20 Unranked]
Fabio Patricolo
Italy
Bologna
BO
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...this year I've been contacted early by my Secret Santa. Indeed he was fast! This was so appreciated because it could mean that he was going to write me more than a couple of emails! And indeed he/she sent me a Google earth picture of my home, he said he shoot it in a fly over my place!
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2. Board Game: Christmas Spirit [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Fabio Patricolo
Italy
Bologna
BO
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...Secret Santa not only taunted me, but he got a mailing with my sons, too. My older one, Leonardo, asked some questions to Santa, i.e. if he was ever attacked by someone in the North Pole and what reindeers do eat for flying, and he actually responded in a very cute way.
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3. Board Game: How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Game [Average Rating:4.65 Unranked]
Fabio Patricolo
Italy
Bologna
BO
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But then he wanted to play with me, too. So he sent me a riddle in which I had to find the games in my wishlist he wasn't going to send me.
I think I did well because on the first try I got nine out of ten. And the last one I got soon after. Now I know that I will not get some of the games in my wishlist, but which one I get? This is still a secret!
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4. Board Game: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – The Hunt for Gollum [Average Rating:7.34 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.34 Unranked]
Fabio Patricolo
Italy
Bologna
BO
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I was very happy with my Santa: it was fun to resolve his riddle. But I wanted more. So I asked him to give me some clues to find out who he or she really is in BGG. And he/she accepted to play a twenty-questions-like game.
And to help me out a bit, he/she told me that when he/she was not working at the pole, this Santa is to be found somewhere in UK.
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5. Board Game: Avatar: The Board Game [Average Rating:4.68 Unranked]
Fabio Patricolo
Italy
Bologna
BO
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I spent the following night to search all the Santas from UK.
There were a lot of them, but I was going to give a try in the search, anyway. So I fired my first question: I asked Santa if he got an animated Avatar. But he has just a simple, not animated avatar. And so I was able to trim the list to about 80 people.
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6. Board Game: I'm the Boss! [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:629]
Fabio Patricolo
Italy
Bologna
BO
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Next question was hard to choose. But looking a my list of Suspects, I noticed that it was a lot of patrons inside and almost half of them for more than 2 years. So I asked if my Santa was a BGG Patron for more the 2years. And he said he wasn't. Bingo! Now the list was down to 38 suspects!
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7. Board Game: Man Laws and Woman Rules [Average Rating:4.36 Unranked]
Fabio Patricolo
Italy
Bologna
BO
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Still hunting my Santa I noticed, that I didn't ask the classic question... Are you a he or a she? Santa is a he... and that let just five suspects out of the list.

Among the ones I had to erase, there was

Fiona Naylor
United Kingdom
Fareham
Hampshire
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Fiona, if you are reading this one, I just sent you the game from the chain I owe you. i hope it will reach youu before Christmas!!!


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8. Board Game: Tactica "S" [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Fabio Patricolo
Italy
Bologna
BO
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The next was a simple question, one of all-or-nothing sort question. I checked if the username for my Secret Santa begin with an S. But it is not. So just another four out of the list.
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9. Board Game: Collect [Average Rating:4.94 Unranked]
Fabio Patricolo
Italy
Bologna
BO
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Far to this point it was relatively easy, but now I need to do my homework, so I looked inside the profile of each suspect and search for common badges. And here it is... the copper collector badge. My list splits at 50-50 (almost) between owners and not-owners. The question came up to my mind simple and clear: hey Santa! Do you own a copper collector badge? And he wasn't...
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10. Board Game: 50 Card Games for Children [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Fabio Patricolo
Italy
Bologna
BO
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The hunt was going so well that I feel Santa very close to be catched! But still I had a bunch of guys to exclude from the list.
I looked at their profiles and sorted out the ones with more than 50 boardgames in their collection. I saw that it was almost half of the lot. So I asked Santa if he own more than 50 boardgames. He said yes. And this was a hit because that cut the list down to 10 names.
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11. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:6]
Fabio Patricolo
Italy
Bologna
BO
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With just 10 names to go, I can look inside the collection of each of the suspect to search for a game that cut them in two similar groups between them who own it and them who don't. And it was Agricola. A game that I plan to play a lot this Christmas, so how was it appropriate?
Santa! Do you own Agricola? But he confessed he doesn't.
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12. Board Game: King of the Elves [Average Rating:6.25 Overall Rank:1915]
Fabio Patricolo
Italy
Bologna
BO
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And this is when Santa began to feel me closing on. And do you believe me? He sent his elves to jam and block my computer. I was just updating my Kubuntu nad it crashed badly! The list was stolen and erased!
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13. Board Game: Seasons: The Calendar Rummy Game [Average Rating:6.24 Overall Rank:6343]
Fabio Patricolo
Italy
Bologna
BO
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But I do not give up so easily! And I managed to recover the names of the last suspects. So I asked a new question looking at the date of registration in BGG. And the list went down to 4.
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14. Board Game: Don't Tip the Waiter [Average Rating:5.03 Unranked]
Fabio Patricolo
Italy
Bologna
BO
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next I look at the tips received and I asked to Santa if he got more than 18,55 BGGGold in tips. But again he did not!

Now I was really close, because my list was down to just 2 names.
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15. Board Game: Cambridge [Average Rating:6.38 Unranked]
Fabio Patricolo
Italy
Bologna
BO
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I asked my Santa if his place in UK was Cambridge, and he did say yes.

this mean my Santa is

Chris Marling
United Kingdom
Cambridge
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now not so secret Santa! But a new buddy to add to my friends in BGG :-)

Happy Christmas! And thanks for all the fun you gave me with this hunt :-)

Thanks a lot!!!!

Fabio


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