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Geeklist s for Age of Steam Expansion #4: France and Italy

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Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #4: France and Italy [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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On Saturday I hosted a game day at my house, ostensibly for my birthday (which was actually a month ago, but hey, I was busy and there was too much snow).

_8_ Castles of Mad King Ludwig - This was with me, Anni, Micah, and Michael; Michael was new. We made a slight setup mistake in this game, neglecting to take out cards from the room deck, so there were six extra cards. There were also an abnormally high number of sleep rooms completed, so this ended up being a truly epic-length game. My starting orange cards were points for 350 rooms (large long skinny), and extra points for money at the end. I picked up some purple rooms that liked being next to activity rooms, and closed them off to score plenty of points. However, I didn't draw any other orange cards the entire game. I managed to maximize the ones I had though, getting 5 350-rooms and having a ton of money at the end. That was good enough for second place, behind Michael.

_8_ Age of Steam Expansion #4: France and Italy (new!) - This was with me, Micah, Gil, and Tom; we had all played Age of Steam before, but none of us had played this expansion. We were originally going to play the Italy board, but after realizing it was high on the take-that, we decided to play France instead. The main changes on this board are that Paris gets cubes from 6 columns, and there are a bunch of hills on the board that can't be built on at all unless you have the engineer role. It looked like there was one good spot on the board leading into Paris, so I bid aggressively to go first. Unfortunately, I made a rookie mistake and totally forgot about the "first build" role, so Tom ended up getting that spot. I ended up starting in the south of France, and wound up never connecting to Paris the entire game. However, since everyone else was focused on Paris from the start, I did plenty well for myself. I continued building out, and eventually I was able to get a bunch of 5-deliveries. The engineer was in hot demand and was often the first role chosen; people that didn't get the engineer often just passed on building completely. Toward the end of the game, I ended up building north out of Paris, not to connect to my network, but just to get more track down. Black cubes had been building up in Paris, and Tom managed to set it up so that he could make 6-deliveries from Paris to black, and got a ton of points from that. I had by far the most tracks on the board, but that was only good enough for second to Tom's first.

_8_ Battle Merchants (new!) - This was with me, Brian, Tom, and Andy. We were actually helping test a mini-expansion for Gil (who's the designer of the game and was moderating), but none of us had played the base game before. Right away, I determined that I'd focus on selling swords and hammers to the hobgoblins and elves, so I could ignore the other stuff. Unfortunately, Andy snagged a card that let him build weapon upgrades more quickly, so he beat me out getting the sword bonus. It was a longer way to get to the hammer bonus since I didn't start with any, and Tom ended up beating me out on that one. Meanwhile, I got a card that gave me end-game points for selling to the same race a lot. I was really having a hard time actually winning any of the battles though, so I needed a new plan. I grabbed a card that let me buy back my weapons after they were defeated, and started stocking up on cards that made my weapons cheaper. That's right, I was going to go for the Wal-Mart strategy. I don't think I won another battle the entire game, instead I was just focused on selling as many weapons as possible to stockpile money. This actually worked pretty well, and while I didn't win, I was competitive. I think Andy won, but it might have been Tom.

_8_ On the Underground - This was with me, Anni, and Micah. After the last game of this, I was determined to make sure all of my lines were actually useful. I began work on all three lines pretty close to the start of the game, but I had a rough plan for how I wanted them to go. Micah, on the other hand, spent the first part of the game building a loop route with one line; he didn't actually place his other lines until he finished with that. That scored him a nice little enclosure bonus, but Anni and I were able to make up the points with actually servicing the customer. The scoring was pretty neck-and-neck the entire game, partially due to us giving points to whoever was the furthest behind if we had a choice. I think Micah won in the end, but we were all within a few points of one another.
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Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #4: France and Italy [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Jose Pacheco
United States
Logan
Utah
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$12 or trade

In shrink

I'll be in San Diego from June 11 - 14. Then I'll be back in Utah and I'll cross my items off.


Sold to Salamon
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Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #4: France and Italy [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Jeffrey D Myers
United States
Los Ranchos
New Mexico
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"Always rely upon a happy mind alone." Geshe Chekhawa.
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Very good.
 
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Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #4: France and Italy [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Michael Schwerdtfeger
United States
Redondo Beach
California
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New in shrink.

$15

Sold to Chad DeShon (BlueWaldo)



I will consider all offers for this item (including trade offers) and I am open to shipping this item to non-BGG attendees.
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Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #4: France and Italy [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Michael Meyer
Switzerland
Luzern
Schweiz
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condition : new / in shrink

soft reserve 5€
bin : 10€

Essen: Friday - Sunday

Last day for bidding is 12 oktober, 23:59 BGG Time.


Sold!
 
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Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #4: France and Italy [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
David Thompson
United States
Portland
Oregon
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2005 Warfrog Games edition in English/German.

Brand new in shrink. Always stored in a box, so no damage whatsoever.

Opening bid: $20

Soft reserve: $30

Buy it Now: $40
 
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Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #4: France and Italy [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
I LIKE Games
United States
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New
version shown english
Can't ship till the week after math trade is done
 
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Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #4: France and Italy [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Michael Schwerdtfeger
United States
Redondo Beach
California
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In excellent condition
 
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Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #4: France and Italy [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Michael Schwerdtfeger
United States
Redondo Beach
California
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In excellent condition
 
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Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #4: France and Italy [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Ryan Bruns
United States
Roy
Utah
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Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #4: France and Italy [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Ryan Bruns
United States
Roy
Utah
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Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #4: France and Italy [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Michael Schwerdtfeger
United States
Redondo Beach
California
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New in shrink
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GeekList: My Unplayed Games
Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #4: France and Italy [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Juan Carlos Goyes
Colombia
Bogota
Cundinamarca
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Acquired on: 2015-06-02

I love Age of Steam.
 
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Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #4: France and Italy [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Michael Schwerdtfeger
United States
Redondo Beach
California
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New in Shrink

$15

I will consider all offers for this item (including trade offers) and I am open to shipping this item to non-BGG attendees.
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Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #4: France and Italy [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Rich P
United Kingdom
Sheffield
United Kingdom
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I didn't know what to do with my UberBadge, so I left it as a GeekBadge.
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Planning...
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-10- Age of Steam (+Italy New!)
|9| Boggle (x6)
|9| Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries
-8- Love Letter
-8- Terra Mystica
-7.5- Ghost Stories
-7.5- Power Grid (+Quebec New!)
-7.5- No Thanks! (x2)
-7- Dominion: Intrigue (+Dark Ages)
-7- Fauna
-7- Map It! World Edition
-7- Town Center
-6- Qwixx
N/A Start Player (x3)

On Tuesday night we tried a three-player game of Power Grid's Quebec map. Lots of ecological power and very few cheap connections made for a fun game with a tense ending. Rick seemed to be in the lead and built his 17th city to end things while he had an advantage. He could only power 16 of those cities, though, so all I needed to do was build to 16, power them and have more money left over... My final connections were slightly too pricey and Rick won by 8 Electro. Earlier in the game, Phil had made a mistake using one of his power plants, spending only one garbage when it should have cost him two. He did this twice before he noticed. We made him buy the extra two garbage he would have needed, but it may have had a larger impact which we couldn't account for - he wouldn't have been able to afford to expand where he had. We said that if he won, there'd be an asterisk against his victory, but as it happened, that wasn't necessary.

My first play of the Italy map for Age of Steam and the tile limitations really came into play. By the end of the game, the board was so crowded that all possible connections had been built. There's a twist to this map where you can deliver black cubes along other people's track to lower their income by one for each link you cross in this way. That sounded mean when we read the rules out, but in practice it often seemed better to gain income yourself rather than try to hurt your opponents. Later on, when useful cubes were running out, the black cubes became more useful. Kate and I took way too many shares (15 and 16). Phil managed to become profitable at only 7 shares and used his cash advantage to price us out of some good actions. Two games of Age of Steam in six days must be some kind of record. Happily, I think Phil's win here has rekindled his interest in the game, so we should be able to get more plays in of at least the 3-player game.

Terra Mystica is finally getting some traction round here, if not picking up speed. This week's session was my first for a while with a full complement of players who had played before and were sufficiently practised to choose factions at the start with some idea of what the implications were. Still, everyone picked one they hadn't played before, to try something different. I went for Cultists and found two of my opponents reluctant to take power on my builds, so I wasn't quite as competitive on the cult tracks as I'd hoped. I managed to make the most of the round bonuses and finish with a personal best of 138. Witches, Mermaids and sleepy Engineers finished 116-112-80.

We were terribly out of practice at Ghost Stories so played the basic game at Normal level (only one incarnation of Wu-Feng) and still lost horribly. Some of our dice rolls were poor, but I think we've forgotten the best tactics in our time away. The more difficult skill levels seem like impossible challenges.

Fauna arrived on Saturday and we had a great game of that. It ended with me coming dead last but wanting more, so I must have been enjoying myself. This is the sort of game that bridges the gap between gamers and non-gamers - I could play this with my family (Dad would probably still refuse to play!) and all the gaming groups I know. Map It!, on the other hand, is a bit more problematic due to differing geography knowledge levels. We instituted a rule where the option to challenge passes around the table clockwise from the starting player, rather than going to whoever shouts first, to give everyone a chance.

Kate slaughtered me at Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries last night. She connected up all the big cities and spent the last part of the game drawing tickets she'd already completed. It's hard to combat that except by joining in the ticket draws, but my network wasn't as helpful for automatically completing what I drew. At least I ended the game unexpectedly, leaving her with one uncompleted ticket - a small consolation.
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Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #4: France and Italy [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Goo
United States
Yorba Linda
California
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We played a relatively quick AoS and fun was had by all (even the miscreants we kept shipping around the board on other people's lines).
 
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Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #4: France and Italy [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Scott Bartel
United States
Portland
Oregon
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Warfrog. New in shrink.

Soft Reserve: $10
BIN: $15 Buy It Now Link
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Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #4: France and Italy [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Alex Radcliffe BoardGameCo
United States
Charlotte
North Carolina
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Soft Reserve: $14

BIN: $20

Condition: Great


SOLD
 
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Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #4: France and Italy [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Alex Radcliffe BoardGameCo
United States
Charlotte
North Carolina
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Starting Bid: $12

BIN: $18

Condition: Great

 
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Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #4: France and Italy [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Game Junkie
Spain
Madrid
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One more game; this time we visited one of our neighbors: France.

France was among the first expansion maps for AoS, so some of its rules have been implemented or developed in later maps. For instance, Paris accepts all good colors except Black and receives the production of black cities 1 to 6. Some roles have been weakened (you can only place two track tiles if you urbanize) and others have been strengthened (Production). Additionally, this is the only map that specifically forbids bankruptcies. Should your income level become negative, it simply stays at zero.

As for the ideal number of players, I am not sure. With three players there are plenty of cubes and it is quite easy to become profitable very fast. In this game, Red only issued 5 shares in total (or, truth be told, he only issued 3, since the first 2 shares are always mandatory). However, you can build on mountain hexes only if you choose the Engineer role. This means that, in the final turns, you usually run out of places to build. Therefore, you need to create your loop as soon as possible. In theory, games with four players would make for a more crowded map faster, and probably more interesting games.

This is the final state of the game. I forgot my camera, but took a picture including the charts with my phone.

Red was last in the initial auction but chose First Build, which he used to connect Paris to Nantes (W6). This seemed like a very good, default start. Blue won the auction and chose Urbanization. He placed the New City H on Le Havre and connected it to Paris. Yellow chose Locomotive and used Blue's urbanization to link New City H to Paris and begin a new stub towards the south.

Blue then chose Urbanization again (New City F) and reached Nantes (W6); Red blocked Blue and connected Nantes with Burdeos (W6-W5), and Yellow reached Lyon (W4).

At that point, Blue realized how poor his start had been: he was now enclosed in the northwest of France, and from that moment on he could only try to sabotage the other players' routes. The southwest of France was occupied by Red and the southeast by Yellow.

After six or seven turns, building options were quite limited and most required getting the Engineer role. Yellow made two mistakes: letting Blue connect Marseille and Nice (W2-W1) and bidding $1 too much. He was $1 short from completing the link coming south of Paris, which Blue duly completed. Red made another mistake by urbanizing New City D instead of placing New City A in the town just south of New City H (that would have transformed two of Yellow's 6-link deliveries into two 4-link deliveries).

In the final turns, Yellow had several 6-link deliveries and overtook Red, who remained with a 5-link locomotive. However, Red had issued 4 fewer shares, so the game would be decided by how much track each of them had built.

The final score was: Red, Yellow (115) - Blue (86)

That's right! There was a tie for first place and thus both players shared the win. This is the first time this happens to us in 20 plays. Needless to say, I will be ruing that $1 that would have given me 4 points for a long, long time, doh!

----------------------------------------------
Lessons learnt

Count your money before bidding. I bid $1 dollar too much and it cost me the win all by myself. Sharing the win is ok, but it does not taste nearly as well.

Use your money: it is worthless once the game is over. Money is worth nothing at the end of the game. Not even as a tiebreaker! Do not forget this in your last auction.

Towns have a maximum of 4 exits. The only way a town can have a 5th or 6th exit is by urbanizing the town and transforming it into a city. Once all the urbanization tiles are used, some connections become impossible. If you take a look at the picture above, you will see there are several towns with 4 exits, meaning that no new exits could be built, limiting the viable track options even more.

Edit: several typos fixed.
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Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #4: France and Italy [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Game Junkie
Spain
Madrid
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I have been long intrigued by John Bohrer's Italy expansion for a reason: black cubes represent corruption and can be shipped over any number of links (up to your locomotive level), giving -1 income to the owner of each link they pass.

This is a significant deviation from the standard AoS norm and, in fact, this rule cannot be enforced in Steam, where cubes must be shipped over at least half of the player's owned track. However, here you can move a black cube over opponents' track exclusively. I was afraid that such a move would be considered as too aggressive by some of my playing buddies. This is certainly not a map for beginners.

Other tweaks include:
- No limit to the number of shares you can issue. Additionally, they can be issued out of turn order, in which case you receive $3 instead of $5. Finally, each issued share is worth 2 points instead of the usual 3.
- No limit to the number of tiles you can build each turn, except that you must connect two cities in the cheapest way possible.
- No towns or new cities.
- Urbanization lets you remove black cubes from the map or the production chart.
- No income reduction!

Now, if you take a look at the map, you can see that Italy is long and narrow, with many choke points. This I found to be superbly done and it did have a major impact on our game.

Black was first after the initial auction and connected Rome (Black cities 1&2) with Florence (W6). Red built between Verona and Milano (WB-W2), while Yellow connected Milano and Genova (W2-W3). While the initial building costs were low, most of the money went to the auction.

By issuing more shares and choosing the Locomotive role several times in a row, Black was in a commanding position when we reached the midgame. And here is where corruption (black cubes) kicked in beautifully. Both Red and Yellow began to move black cubes over Black's rails to keep him in check. Another nice side-effect was that only Black had access to the southern cities and all the cubes there, but were he to link to those cities, Red and Yellow would use the black cubes there to punish him. This meant that Black had to choose Urbanition before accessing the southern cities.

The winner was not decided until the very end:
Yellow (88) - Black (80) - Red (77)

Red finally came up short because he had to manually upgrade his locomotive too many times, Black was hurt by the black cubes and Yellow had a nice loop in the north, but the sheer number of colored cities meant that deliveries could only travel over 3 or 4 links at most.

All in all, this map was very enjoyable (in your typical AoS cutthrought sort of way). I initially thought that corruption would be weak, as it does not strengthen your own position, but given the cluster of northern cities, sometimes it was the best option.

----------------------------------------------
Lessons learnt

Geography matters. Rules are usually what make a map different. In some cases, however, geography plays an equally important role. Access to the South was expensive at the beginning and impossible at the end because all access points were already taken. Therefore, track was built in the North first and we only turned our eyes to the South at the end of the game. I loved how this develoment matched Italy's history (rich, urban North vs poor, agrarian South). Including the perennial corruption present in Latin countries or the lack of income reduction was also a nice touch. I really liked the ideas the designer put on this map.

Exploiting the rules. One of the interesting aspects of playing new maps is trying to exploit the new rules. In this case, shares held less value than usual, and I had no qualms about issuing more than ordinary, even once out of turn order. The Red player went for a no-shares strategy which was weaker in this map and did not pan out.

Limited tiles. The demand for complex tiles is higher in this map; in fact, the map comes with 7 new tiles for that reason. Still, we ran out of some tiles, which led to a hilarious moment when I tried to build a link with 9+ tiles and could not find the tile I needed.

Track connecting a city (or town) to itself. If you look at Trento (Purple City A, in the upper right corner), you will see there is a Red track connecting the city to itself. We thought this was legal upon reading the 1st-warfrog-ed rules, but apparently it was deemed illegal in later editions. See this thread for more information.
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Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #4: France and Italy [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Ian Zernechel
United States
Dublin
Ohio
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still sealed

Minimum bid $1
buy it now: $13.00
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Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #4: France and Italy [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
stephen wilcox
United States
Berkeley
California
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New in Shrink

Reserve $10
BIN $15

SOLD
 
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Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #4: France and Italy [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Yannick Campagna
Canada
St-jean-sur-Richelieu
Québec
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+altname+ Item removed. Trade in another math trade -altname-

english
complete
In shrink

Free shipping to canada & continental USA. Will ocver the first 10$ elsewhere. Balance must be paid by paypal
 
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Board Game: Age of Steam Expansion #4: France and Italy [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Yannick Campagna
Canada
St-jean-sur-Richelieu
Québec
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In shrink. good condition.


 
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