ones upon a game

I am almost exclusively a solo gamer and look at the gaming scene seen through those eyes. I also literally like alliteration. TWITTER: @onesuponagame

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All Good Things Got to Come to an End

Kevin L. Kitchens
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Gainesville
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All good things got to come to an end
The thrills have to fade
Before they come 'round again

All good times, all good friends
All good things got to come to an end

~ Jackson Browne


I am writing this post to share that effective immediately I am "cancelling" my blog and YouTube channel "ones upon a game".

While I appreciate greatly all the support my readers and viewers have given me over these several years, as with all projects there comes a time to reconcile costs and benefit. While running "ones upon a game" has not cost much in terms of money, it has cost in time, energy, and effort. Unfortunately in the final analysis I don't see where the total expense justifies the results.

This is not a sudden decision, and I've debated with myself on it and kept the channels going on life support for nearly a year now.

I have other projects that have been neglected for this passion of mine, but the time has come to let those children get a little attention from me as well. And so with bittersweet head and heart, I will cease production of new videos and new blog content and simply revert to being a "civilian" and regular gamer. I won't be going anywhere or leaving BGG certainly, you'll probably see me around forums and game pages.

All content on the channel and blog will remain for posterity, so video links and posts etc. will remain intact.

Thank you again. It's been a wonderful journey.

All the best and may God bless you greatly.

Kevin

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Wed Feb 7, 2018 4:08 pm
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doo doo doo doo (doo-doo, doo-doo) Khan Touch This!

Kevin L. Kitchens
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A few unboxings over the last week to share.

First we boldly return to the excellent Star Trek: Frontiers to thwart the Return of Khan.




Then to the library to check out a Hardback or two from Tim Fowers.




Back to the past we go and the colonization of the Americas between warring countries with Dan Verssen Games (DVG)' 1500: The New World.




And finally more Lock 'n Load Tactical goodness with this expansion to Lock 'n Load Tactical: Heroes of the Pacific, Lock 'n Load Tactical: Hell Frozen Over, covering the 1943 Battle of Attu Island.



As always, please SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel for more unboxing and gameplay fun.
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Mon Feb 5, 2018 8:09 pm
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Cattle on Wayne! Cattle on Garth!

Kevin L. Kitchens
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As promised in my previous post (Great? Check! Western? Check! Trail? Check! Solo? Say What???), I've taken "Garth" the second more specialized Automa for Great Western Trail for a spin and documented how the cards work and show the results of a game. I compare the two where appropriate as well to underscore the differences in mechanics.



"Garth" Automa Rules and Cards: GWT Specialized Automa for Solo Play

SUMMARY
In all, I think both of the solo Automa work great and provide a very tough competitor at even the "normal" level. I cannot imagine playing them on the hard challenge (but will someday!).

I do believe that these options DO make Great Western Trail a must buy, even if only for solo play. The Automa run smooth and with little management and allow you to concentrate on playing the game. And the game is that good. One of the best worker placement games there is. Alexander Pfister has created a masterpiece.
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Fri Feb 2, 2018 4:13 pm
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When the Games, Come Tumbling Down...

Kevin L. Kitchens
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Space has always been a premium in my office/gameroom. With the limited shelves already full to capacity, I started stacking games on a nice window seat between the two cabinets (cross-stacked as necessary to prevent dishing!). I've looked at hard storage options and they either had too small of compartments or were too expensive or large (like IKEA shelving) for my needs.



With the stealth of the NSA, Google and Alexa seemed to share my findings to the web and suddenly Amazon recommended me these shelves. Assembled from plastic, metal tubing, and a plastic-like fabric, these shelves assembled like Tinkertoys, but were durable and strong (13.5lb load-bearing for each cube, 100lb load-bearing for overall items). Each compartment was over 13x12" as well, large enough for most common box sizes. At $21 a set, I ordered two to better organize my window seat storage.





Though designed to be set up in a 3-2-1 arrangement, other buyers reported you could also build them as a 3x2 tower (a 2x3 shorter layout is also possible). This is exactly what I would need to fit the space. Assembly was quick and easy. As I built them with less of a base than recommended, I scavenged the leftover bits to connect the two units together along the two shelf tops, reinforcing both shelves.





I'm quite pleased with how it all turned out and now when I need to get a game, I don't have to play Tower of Hanoi to extract the one on the bottom.

If organization is your problem and you cannot find a good solution, you might check out these units as well.
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Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:04 pm
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Great? Check! Western? Check! Trail? Check! Solo? Say What???

Kevin L. Kitchens
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Great Western Trail by Alexander Pfister is not only an excellent euro/worker placement game, it's now broken into the BGG top 10.

It's that good.

But unfortunately, it was only designed for 2-4 players.

I tried my first game simply running two boards to learn the mechanics, etc... and even in that mode it was fun. And you're so inclined you could do that and consider the average of the two scores to be your final score. Simple solo solve!

But the solo community across BGG is quick to fill the vacuum of missing solo modes (in games of course where the mechanics don't prevent such) and with Great Western Trail, there are two solo Automa that have been designed by members of the site.

Inspired by the Automa of Morten Monrad Pedersen (who has shepherded solo AI for Stonemaier Games' Viticulture, Scythe and others), user Wil Gerken created the "Brisco" Automa deck (Great Western Trail Automa (solo play)). This is a simple to operate, non-fiddly Automa that simulates a pretty good player. It includes three levels of difficulty (easy, normal, and hard) which vary in the buildings used, number of cards, and first delivery city.

I created a demonstration video showing "Brisco" at work to explain the mechanics of each card and the final results of the game.



The second Automa is the "son" of Brisco called "Garth" and makes the AI more focused in the strategy it takes (varying between Cowboys, Craftsmen, and Engineers). My next video will demonstrate that Automa in action as well. Subscribe on BGG or on YouTube to be alerted when that video is live.

Stay tuned!
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Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:03 pm
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Money for Nothing and YouTube for Free

Kevin L. Kitchens
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Thank you so much to those who responded last week to my plea for more YouTube subscribers (Ain't Too Proud to Beg -- Need YouTube Subscribers!). In that one day over 125 of you signed up. Much appreciated.

The pace has slowed somewhat and I scrambled to attempt to reach the final goal, the stark realization occurred to me: Why???

As stated, I don't make all that much from the ads that are shown and it dawned that I also have no control over the ads that appear. I know that on YouTube people don't associate the ads with the content providers (like on say a website directly), but at the same time, I felt it was perhaps a conflict of values to publish on YouTube and let them completely control the ads that interrupt the video and annoy my viewers. So this morning, three weeks ahead I schedule, I went ahead and demonetized all my YouTube content. The comments and feedback from watchers is more than enough.

If you want to see more, then by all means SUBSCRIBE HERE. There are benefits beyond ad revenue for having a large following. But if you prefer just catch them when shared on BGG directly.

The content is not going anywhere.

Just the ads.
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Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:01 pm
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Ain't Too Proud to Beg -- Need YouTube Subscribers!

Kevin L. Kitchens
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If you're like me, you watch a lot of YouTube content. Content you like and want to see more of.

And then you forget to subscribe.

I know I do!

Last night I received notification that YouTube is tightening up on who can and cannot be "monetized" on their service. Not sure why this matters, content is content, but the bottom line is that if I want to continue to earn the pittance for my videos on YouTube, I need more subscribers to my channel. I already meet the minimum requirement for viewing time, just not actual subscriptions (1000 is the new threshold).

That said, if you like my videos, would you consider visiting the link below and subscribe? I certainly don't want folks to just pad up the numbers for my sake, but perhaps you've forgotten to and meant to, or simply didn't understand how those subscriptions can affect content producers.

SUBSCRIBE HERE

To be honest, this is not about the actual money I earn (that's only about $5 per month), it's more about keeping the channel "real" and the feeling of belonging with the "big boys" in the field.

For those of you who already have supported me on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and here on good old BGG, THANK YOU!

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Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:19 pm
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Polling Geeks about The Geek - 2018 Edition

Kevin L. Kitchens
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BGG Member Tony Ackroyd is back again with his annual poll of users of BGG (at least those who see that the poll is taking place) about various demographics, features, and content of the site.

You can find the poll at the start of this thread here: The Geek User Poll 2018

A more general information poll appears first, then a more specific one follows, so be sure to take them both.

And if you're reading this post, then you're reading this blog (ones upon a game) which to my surprise and honor was included in the list of blogs being polled. So if you make sure to check the multiple-choice box next to it (as well as any others you read of course), I would be most grateful.
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Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:14 pm
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Last Day to Enter This Win Wind Situation...

Kevin L. Kitchens
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Reminder: The Drawing for a brand new copy of Stonemaier Games Scythe: The Wind Gambit (expansion for Scythe) will be sometime after midnight tonight.

Full details are here: WIN a copy of Scythe: The Wind Gambit!

But to get right to the entry form...



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Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:15 pm
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WIN a copy of Scythe: The Wind Gambit!

Kevin L. Kitchens
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In a completely shameless ploy to get more YouTube subscribers, Facebook and Twitter followers (at least I'm being honest), I'm giving away a new in shrink copy of Scythe: The Wind Gambit the latest expansion to Scythe.

Entering the contest is simple via Rafflecopter...



You'll get five entries if you visit our Facebook page, five entries for subscribing to our YouTube channel, three entries for following us on Twitter, and one entry per day for retweeting about the contest.

While you have to choose one of the options to get an entry, you don't have to do any of them specifically. So if you're not on Facebook or Twitter, that's fine of course. And you can always immediately unfollow or unsubscribe (I don't want anyone against their will!)

Entry must be via the link above (or below).

Drawing will be held sometime after January 13, 2018 and the winner will be notified by email and announced here (so subscribing here would be good as well).

Shipping will be to the USA only. No purchase is required (not that I'm selling anything anyway).

Thanks to BGG for allowing me to list this contest.

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Fri Jan 5, 2018 4:31 pm
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