The weekly Excellence in Session Report Writing Award
Valdir Jorge
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On November 2004 I had this insane idea of awarding for the best SR of the week. Boy, I didn't imagine it would be this much work! :-)

Anyway, check out below to see which BGG'ers have been honoured in the past few weeks.

Note: if you find any session reports that you deem worth of the award, please let me know. I read a lot of them, but not all, so I will consider other people's input (as long as they don't submit their own creations, of course...).

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Feb 2005 announcement: for the next ten to fifteen weeks I'll be bestowing a few extra every week for the Sean Ahern Honorary Mention. Sean was kind enough to ship me a pack of the Ticket to Ride: Mystery Train Expansion game at his own cost. We had previously agreed that I would pay him 15 but at the time we finally concluded our transaction, he no longer needed the , so he told me that I didn't have to give them to him, but I should "pay it forward" to deserving geeks. I thought about running a contest but could not come up with any good ideas, so I decided to piggyback on this award and create an honorary mention in his name. Therefore, for the next few weeks I'll be giving away my regular one for the best SR plus one (or more) honorary mentions in his name.

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July 1st, 2005 announcement: The Session Report Hall of Fame (three session reports awarded, no longer elligible to win a prize):

2005
Mark Kittel inducted on February 18th
Mike Adams inducted on June 17th
John Farrell inducted on July 1st
Norbert Chan inducted on July 1st
Geoff Dunbar inducted on September 23rd
Rusty Ballinger inducted on November 18th

2006
Brian Sabotta inducted on February 3rd
Steve M. inducted on February 10th
Paul DeStefano inducted on March 10th
Melissa inducted on April 28th
Martin Moyer inducted on May 19th
Mike Hoyt inducted on June 23rd
Greg Low inducted on August 25th
Sam Miller inducted on August 25th
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51. Board Game: 7 Ages [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:1656]
Valdir Jorge
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For the week ending on October 21st, Shyue Chou Chuang gets the award for the first installment of his revised history of the world according to 7 Ages:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/83116

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Michael Chapel runs away with the Emmy wins the honorary mention for his televised SR on Conquest of the Empire:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/83249
 
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52. Board Game: Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:291] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
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For the week ending on October 28th, Rich Ochs gets the award for his retelling of how he stormed Fort Volcarren in HeroScape:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/84083

This is the last time I'm going to reward an SR on HeroScape, it goes to the list of "no-no" games

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We have a three-way tie for the honorary mention:

a) Jeffrey McBeth for a session where everything went wrong in his Ambush!:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/83937

b) Ken Bradford for making even a solved game like Connect Four look interesting:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/84353

c) Jeff Wu for his colaborative effort in writing a group SR on Mare Nostrum:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/84631
 
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53. Board Game: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Game [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:1833]
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For the week ending on November 4th, Chris Winner gets the award for the best use of photography on an SR that I have ever seen. The game is Buffy The Vampire Slayer: The Game. Oh, by the way, the writing is great, too:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/84883

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Ray Palmer takes the honorary mention for a very tense SR on StreetSoccer:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/84706
 
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54. Board Game: Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus [Average Rating:3.80 Overall Rank:16960]
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I'm usually not one to celebrate anniversaries, but for this one I'll make an exception. This entry marks the completion of the first year of the weekly Excellence in Session Report Writing Award. Boy, this has been an interesting journey so far! Close to one hundred different people have received almost 120 so far. A big thank you to all of you guys who have made me laugh, made me think or just plain entertained me with your stories. Great stuff all around!

Now, down to business: for the week ending on November 11th, Ryan Walberg gets the award for showing us why couples who intend to stay together should not play Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/85501

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Two honorary mentions this week: Graham Smallwood for a fantastic (in more than one sense) description of Descent: Journeys in the Dark:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/85926

and Bob Menzel for a first-person retelling of an aerial fight over Germany in B-17: Queen of the Skies:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/85598
 
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55. Board Game: Wiz-War [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:1513]
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For the week ending on November 18th, Rusty Ballinger gets the award for showing us that you should not kill off the newbie who brings the dessert, even more if she's your buddy's girlfriend... The game is Wiz-War:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/86845

With this one, Rusty gets his third award and goes up there (see the introduction box at the top of the page) in the hall of fame.

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We have a two-way tie for the honorary mention and both SR's are for the same game: Revolution: The Dutch Revolt 1568-1648. Benjamin Keightley and Maarten D. de Jong are the recipients:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/86680

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/86644
 
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56. Board Game: Cold Turkey [Average Rating:3.79 Unranked]
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One full week without new session reports, what a sad state of affairs! I understand that this is turkey week at the Great Republic to the South but still... Where are my SR's?!

Ok, this geeklist takes the week off and will come back next Friday, December 2nd.
 
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57. Board Game: Kill Doctor Lucky [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:2229]
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Am I becoming a curmudgeon? This week I have gone through more than 180 SR's written in the last fifteen days and I found only one that I considered worth praising...

For the week ending on December 2nd, Ben M gets the award for a funny session on a horrible game (Kill Doctor Lucky):

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/87755
 
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58. Board Game: Railways of the World [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:104] [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
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For the week ending on December 9th, David Matchen gets the award for a story about a time "when men were real men and women were real women". The game is Railroad Tycoon:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/89467

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Four accounts of wars in the past, in the future and in a (fortunately) alternate reality share the honorary mention:

a) Bob McMurray for his vision of a future war in Cosmic Encounter:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/89241

b) Pete Atack for a war that fortunately never had to happen; the game is Group of Soviet Forces Germany:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/89070

c) Proud father Jeffrey Vaca for Memoir '44:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/89365

d) and Edward McEneely for navy battles in Second World War at Sea: SOPAC:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/89329
 
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59. Board Game: AstroNavis Merchant Advanced [Average Rating:6.38 Unranked]
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For the week ending on December 16th, Albert Hernandez gets the award for his session report on AstroNavis Merchant Advanced:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/90299

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Eric Bridge wins the honorary mention for his session report on Dungeon Quest:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/89934
 
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60. Board Game: Hand and Foot [Average Rating:5.96 Overall Rank:7579]
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During the week, when I'm reading the SR's to choose which one should get the award, usually I find two or three that are worth saving for the Friday decision. This week, however, I got nothing less than fourteen! Wow! I don't know what got you guys, but it was really a wonderful batch of stories that you wrote! Of course I cannot give that many away or my stock would be seriously depleted, so I had to do some serious pruning today. And even then I still have six SR's to award.

Anyway, for the week ending on December 23rd, Brian Sabotta gets the award for a wonderful SR on Hand and Foot which is full of comedy (and drama as well):

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/91150

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As I said above, there were many good SR's to choose from, so we have a multiple tie for the honorary mention:

a) William Shubert writes on the joys of playing Carcassonne with a three-year old:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/91031

b) This week Dane Peacock decided to write quite a few good SR's with a first-person perspective. I found them all worthy of an award, so I'm going to choose one of them here: Colossal Arena:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/91162

But make sure you also read his other SR's on Mall of Horror (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/90711), Plunder (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/91024) and Techno Witches (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/91121); they are just as good.

c) Manuel Pombeiro gives us three sessions in one in his picture-full SR on Flames of War:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/90797

Make sure you also read his other SR on Stalingrad: Intelligence handbook on Soviet and German Infantry Forces: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/90795. Even more pictures!

d) Tim Paterson tells a sweeping tale of World War II in his SR on Europe Engulfed:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/90864

e) Titus sends a letter to his father in Rome in Peter Veenstra's SR on The Siege of Jerusalem:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/90447

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This geeklist will take a break in the final week of the year but will come back in full force in the new year. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and that the new year may bring the best for you.
 
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61. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:152] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
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He was the last winner of 2005 and now he comes back to be the first winner of 2006: Brian Sabotta wins this week's award with another funny session report, this time on a late night game of Carcassonne:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/93324

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The year starts with a bunch of great SR's, we have a six-way tie for the honorary mention:

a) Jason Sample warns us of the danger of playing Pop-Up Pirate! with a Sith Lord:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/93389

b) Les Lauber tells us how he was almost defeated by a dinosaur in Checkers :

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/91886

c) Jens x shows us how to use infantry to defeat Micheal Flatley in Men of Iron - Volume I : The Rebirth of Infantry :

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/92015

d) Nick Roser gives us a sweeping and tragic tale in Warhammer Quest:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/91550

e) BagpipeDan writes a very interesting story of his latest run of Struggle of Empires:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/93232

f) Douglas Collins II really likes to play Magic: The Gathering CCG:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/93420
 
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62. Board Game: Blokus [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:571]
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For the week ending on January 13th, David Singleton receives the award for creating literature out of one of the driest games (Blokus):

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/94155

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We have a three-way tie for the honorary mention:

a) Chad Krizan makes us laugh with his SR on Shocking Roulette, a "game" that I'm not too eager to try out:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/94332

b) Ron Chavez wrote a series of SR's for B-17: Queen of the Skies. He's asking if he should continue with them. Please encourage him, here:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/93537

c) Terence Lin writes a fine piece of fiction in his SR for Holidays:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/94032
 
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63. Board Game: Go Away Monster! [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:3069]
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For the week ending on January 20th, David Orange takes the award for sharing with us an unforgettable family moment. The game is Go Away Monster!:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/95181

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Boy! There were so many good session reports this week that it was really an incredible task to pare down the candidates to a manageable number. Still, we have eight writers sharing the honorary mention:

a) Scott -Pokey Pokey Pokey- Reed for Settlers of Catan:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/95687

b) Chuck Uherske for Around the World in 80 Days:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/95188

c) Mike Hoyte for Afrika Korps - The Desert War:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/95147

d) Nicholas Barker for Twilight Struggle:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/95556

e) Talarius Dunedain for Star Wars - The Queen's Gambit:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/94831

f) Richard Glassco for Stupiduel:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/94402

g) Christian Spear for Munchkin Bites!:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/94854

h) Spencer Romney for Disney Magic Kingdom game:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/95220
 
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64. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.32 Overall Rank:5]
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For the week ending on January 27th, Charles Féaux de la Croix gets the award for his revision of the Cold War in Twilight Struggle:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/96625

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John Richert gets the honorary mention for his session on Primordial Soup:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/96371
 
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65. Board Game: Puerto Rico [Average Rating:8.04 Overall Rank:21]
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For the week ending on February 3rd, Brian Sabotta does it again, this time with a very inappropriate session report on a game of Puerto Rico:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/97426

With this, Brian hits his third award and becomes the first 2006 inductee to the Hall of Fame (see box at the top).

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Bob McMurray earns the honorary mention for an entertaining report on Guillotine:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/97125
 
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66. Board Game: Doom: The Boardgame [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:901]
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For the week ending on February 10th, Steve M. gives us a hilarious account of his adventures with Doom: The Boardgame:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/98572

With this award Steve hits his third and goes up there to the Hall of Fame

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a) Andrew Turner warns us that you better keep your shoes on when playing Monopoly:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/98850

b) Neil Edge goes to unspeakable lengths to win a game of Fluxx:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/98992

c) Eric Brosius tells us of a very confusing first contact with the game of Siena:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/98337

d) J Boyes shows us that a gamer will even take on Hungry Hungry Hippos when he needs the fix:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/98422

e) Chris Talbot presents us a very detailed game of Fortress Berlin:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/97992

f) Paul Szilagyi not only writes an entertaining session on Bohnanza, he also gives some good advice for newbies approaching the two-player version:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/98129
 
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67. Board Game: Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:291] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
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For the week ending on February 17th, John Owen gets the award for a session report of a game of HeroScape that never happened:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/99477

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The honorary mention is shared by two sessions:

a) Peter Vrabel for a detailed session of Advanced Squad Leader (ASL) Starter Kit #2, complete with pictures:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/99608

b) and P Peacey for his mixture of session report and analysis of a game of Caylus:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/99847
 
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68. Board Game: B-17: Queen of the Skies [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1317]
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For the week ending on February 24th, Mike Spoto takes the award for an all-star account of his first mission with the B-17: Queen of the Skies:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/100125

And be sure to read the continuation of the story here:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/100629
 
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69. Board Game: Doom: The Boardgame [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:901]
Valdir Jorge
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For the week ending on March 3rd, Paul DeStefano captures the award with his SR on Doom: The Boardgame. A most memorable game ending indeed!

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/100958

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The honorary mention is shared by two sessions:

a) another fantastic SR on Doom, this time by Diane Close:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/101526

a) and Joe Joiner's hilarious rendition of his game of Pirate's Cove:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/101559
 
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70. Board Game: Candy Land [Average Rating:3.17 Overall Rank:17136]
Valdir Jorge
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Last week he presented us with a hair raising game with his son; this week he's back with a game with his daughter (and a teddy bear!). Yes, it's Paul DeStefano suffering unspeakable humiliation in Candyland! Here it is:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/102399

With this one, Paul hits his third and goes up there to the Hall of Fame

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We had many good SR's this week, so the honorary mention is shared by six authors:

a) Tim Welch also shows a thrilling end game with his son in Break the Safe:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/102217

b) Paul Szilagyi gives us a family moment of another kind in Fluxx:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/102181

c) Craig Tenhoff tells us about the first interstellar war in his SR on Galactic Starfire:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/102166

d) Christopher Ono tries his hand at mixing fiction and game report in Vampire: Prince of the City:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/102655

e) Edward Hoden shows us that ambiance is almost as necessary as the game itself in his SR on Shakespeare: The Bard Game:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/102225

f) Justin Borges is the monster in Fury of Dracula:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/102486
 
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71. Board Game: Here I Stand [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:200]
Valdir Jorge
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For the week ending on March 17th, Paul Elliott gets the award for his monumental work of art in Here I Stand:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/102912
 
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72. Board Game: Coloretto [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:505]
Valdir Jorge
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You think Coloretto is a bland game, don't you? Well, think again! Daniel Stroud shows us that even a simple game like this one can be explosive with the right (or, should I say, wrong?...) people around the table. He captures the award for the week ending on March 24th with this session report:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/103955

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We have a tie for the honorary mention:

a) Jason Sample has some words of wisdom about swimming with sharks in his SR on Reef Encounter:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/103790

b) and Bob Jones comes up with a sweeping tale of ancient wars in his SR on Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/104043
 
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73. Board Game: Jambo [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:553] [Average Rating:7.03 Unranked]
Valdir Jorge
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For the week ending on March 31st, Sam Miller wins the award for his SR on Jambo:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/104442
 
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74. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:122] [Average Rating:7.55 Unranked]
Valdir Jorge
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For the week ending on April 7th, Arcadian Del Sol gets the award for his "letters to mom" in Memoir '44:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/106110

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We have a two-way tie for the honorary mention:

a) Proud father Joe Joiner tells us of the joys of family gaming in his SR on Carcassonne:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/105476

b) and John Burt launches an inquest in his SR on Last Frontier: The Vesuvius Incident:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/105574
 
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75. Board Game: Trouble [Average Rating:3.75 Overall Rank:17131]
Valdir Jorge
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The week ending on April 14th saw a lot of trouble in BGG-land, there were no new session reports due to a server crashing, Aldie and Derk going to the GoF and other such calamities...

We'll be back next week, we hope...
 
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