User Profile for fubar awol
Pierce Ostrander
United States
New Mexico
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Vistors since January 2012


Here is a link to photos of our War of the Ring Miniatures. Scroll down beneath the linked photo to see all of them:


Send me a note if you are interested in getting some, we periodically make more.


I enjoy a wide variety of games. However, the ones I really love kiss contain at least one of these two elements:

(1)Strategic: Games in which you can develop a plan for the mid- and end-game right after seeing the setup. By my own definition these are the only games that are truly "strategic" - all others are tactical.

(2) Explosive: Games that are not exclusively incremental - Games that allow for the big surprise play; the turn where it all comes together and you deliver the coups-de-main.

These two elements are a very strong preference for me. So much so, that if a game has either of these two elements then I can tolerate a long list of other faults. Don't get me wrong, I will still play Games that have neither of these elements, but any game that doesn't must have nothing else that offends me: Fiddliness, Too much luck for it's length, Too long, Between-turn Downtime (etc.) - the usual suspects.

I grew up with Avalon Hill Games and was a "lifestyle" Squad Leader/ASL player in the 70s and 80s. In 2001 I rediscovered board games (followed by the discovery of BGG) after a long hiatus that began about 1992. I am a long-time BGG contributor.

I like games and I like variety. Therefore almost any game mechanism is fine.

My wife and I play a variety of modern board games together and with friends a few times a month. We really enjoy each others company, don't own a T.V. and use our evenings to read books aloud together and play games.

Multi-player games that scale well down to 2-player are a big preference for us. In fact, I have created (and posted here on the geek) several 2-player variants for 3-5 player games including one for Age of Steam and another for Taj Mahal. I’ve also posted a much improved (IMHO) version of the Citadels 2-player game.

2-P Variants:
Age of Steam 2P Variant
Citadels 2P Variant
Taj Mahal 2P Variant

The contribution of which I am most proud is a series of Age of Steam Session reports - "play-by-play pictorial accounts" that provide a primer to players about how to play Age of Steam well - using the multi-year story of my own experiences playing and becoming reasonably competent playing the game.

Age of Steam:
Age of Steam Pictorial Session Reports

Second to that, is probably my ASL session reports - which do the same thing: provide some insight as to how to play the game well:


I got back into ASL in January 2011 after playing a few games of the Starter Kits in Summer 2010. What a great game! I'm in the process of reacquiring the system and have played in two tournaments, the MMP Winter Offensive (Jan '11) and The Bitter Ender (Apr '011). My report from the Bitter Ender can be found here:

Report from the ASL Bitter Ender 2011

Here are some detailed illustrated session reports with tactical tips:

ASLSK session report: Scen 17
ASLSK session report: Scen 16

ASL Game Crafting: I've made a full set of ASL maps at 150% size on printable 19 mil canvas. The larger hex size is necessary. It goes a long way toward bringing the game components into the 21st Century. For a look at my map, click on the image:

I did some ASL playtesting at MMP HQ for a few months in 2011/12 - that was fun.

I've also done a number of player aids and game helps. The two most significant were for Race for the Galaxy and War of the Ring.

Player Aids:

War of the Ring Game Summary
Race for the Galaxy Reference Guide
Mottainai Player Mat

How I Rate Games

10: There is only one "10"

9: This is a game that achieves one of the two things I like most in a game (see above) without layering on too much other un-fun stuff OR it is simply a game that we play frequently. It is a great game, but it is not ASL.

8: Very good game. Rarely disappoints me. High on my request/recommend list. Get's played a lot.

6: OK game. Some fun or challenge at least. Enjoyable in the right circumstances. Gets played occasionally, but enough in some cases to own a copy.

4: Below average game. Will avoid.

2: Very poor game. I refuse to play this.

1: Dead game. Seriously negative
entertainment value. Black Hole of Fun.

My "Hot 10" that I've been playing most in the last few months - when I maintain it.

My "Top 10" is evolving toward becoming a list of games that I have played the most over the years. Since I am a novelty junkie - the latest shiny object can grab my attention, but the reality is that most games I come in contact with get played no more than 5 times. Games that hit 20, 50 or over a hundred plays must truly be my favorites... regardless of my latest infatuation.

Games Played: I'm very consistent about recording games played here on the geek - it's a near perfect record of every game I have played in the last 7+ years. For ASL I record a "play" for any session that lasts at least 2 hours, not necessarily a completed scenario.
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User Details for fubar awol
Registration Date: 2003-12-18
Last Profile Update: 2016-01-11
Last Login: 2016-04-28
Country: flag United States
State: New Mexico
Town/City: Albuquerque
GeekMail: mail Send Private Message to fubar awol
Collection Summary for fubar awol
Board Game
Owned   71
Previously Owned   263
For Trade   6
Want In Trade   29
Want To Buy   12
Want To Play   0
Preordered   0
Wishlist   29
Commented   216
Has Parts   0
Want Parts   0
All   521
Board Game Expansion
Owned   22
Previously Owned   81
For Trade   2
Want In Trade   9
Want To Buy   3
Want To Play   0
Preordered   0
Wishlist   7
Commented   31
Has Parts   0
Want Parts   0
All   155
Board Game 10
Board Game Expansion 1
Board Game Compilation 1
Board Game Implementation 3
For Sale 2
Sold 64
Rating 67
Board Game Plays 2041 Total | By Month | Last 30 Days | Chronological
Board Game Expansion Plays 288 Total | By Month | Last 30 Days | Chronological
Trade Rating (96) Propose A Trade With This User
Board Game Ratings 245
Average Rating 6.31
10 13   (5.3%)
9 20   (8.2%)
8 61   (24.9%)
7 0   (0.0%)
6 91   (37.1%)
5 0   (0.0%)
4 43   (17.6%)
3 0   (0.0%)
2 14   (5.7%)
1 3   (1.2%)
Board Game Expansion Ratings 13
Average Rating 9.08
10 8   (61.5%)
9 2   (15.4%)
8 2   (15.4%)
7 0   (0.0%)
6 0   (0.0%)
5 0   (0.0%)
4 1   (7.7%)
3 0   (0.0%)
2 0   (0.0%)
1 0   (0.0%)
Top 10
#1: Advanced Squad Leader
#2: Age of Steam
#3: Terra Mystica
#4: Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan
#5: War of the Ring (second edition)
#6: Race for the Galaxy
#7: Tichu
#8: Liar's Dice
#9: Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small
#10: Kemet
Hot 10
#1: Advanced Squad Leader
#2: Mottainai
#3: History of Civilizations
#4: Forbidden Desert
#5: Village
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