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Subject: Geek of the Week: Alex Rockwell (Alexfrog) rss

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Yehuda Berlinger
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Thank you BGGers for your questions and posts while I was GotW. Here is my choice for the next one: Alex Rockwell, otherwise knows as AlexFrog.

Alex's user profile: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/Alexfrog

Alex has contributed some of the best and deepest game articles on the Geek, from his now standard analysis of Puerto Rico openings, to similar articles for Amun Re, Game of Thrones, Goa, San Juan, Arkam Horror, Werewolf, Tichum, War of the Ring, Caylus, and many others.

He also contributed some of these articles to the Gone Gaming weblog (http://boredgames.blogspot.com) for a few months.

Here are some questions to start him off:

1) The first job for Geek of the Week is "Two Truths and a Lie." Tell us three things about yourself, two of which are true and one lie. We have to guess which is false. Try to make your truths the most unexpected things about yourself to trick us. The lie can be very close to the truth. Don't tell us which one is the lie until the end of the week.

2) We share many similar tastes in deeper Eurogames. What is your gaming history and how did you come to these games? What games or gaming styles did you reject on the way?

3) Who are you outside of gaming? Single? Married? In school or working? Kids? Do you look or act anything like your avatar? Or your nickname? Where did they come from?

4) Where do you find the time for your more than 4000 BGG article and forum replies, as well as for thousands of game plays on BSW and elsewhere?

5) You have posted variants for many games, like Werewolf and so on. How do you feel about variants versus the "straight" game? Do you play your own variants or other people's variants more?

6) Any fixes for TI3 yet? Are there any games that you have fixed from unplayable to enjoyable?

7) What other sites do you frequent on the Internet?

8) What is your local real-world gaming activity like? Do you ever go to conventions?

9) What is your favorite Margaret Weis series (mine would be Star of the Guardians)?

10) What's more fun: playing the game, or analyzing the strategy?

Congradulations, Alex, and enjoy your week as head geek.

Yehuda
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Jim Cote
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Congrats, Alex!

I see you've rated 219 games, but only own 40. For someone who seems to love many serious games, this seems a little odd. Do you have a lot of gaming friends who own all the others? How much gaming do you do online compared to face-to-face?
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Mike K
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So, what is it about 3+ players that you just abhor with Caylus? Have you ever played with so many? Is there a story there?
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David
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I'm curious about one thing - are you still playing Age of Wonders?
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Tim K.
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What drives you to "solve" a game? Don't you enjoy a little mystery in your life? kiss

And given your propensity for analysis of the better games, would you ever consider designing your own game? i.e. Build upon your vast knowledge of all the mechanics that you know work (or don't)?
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Thomas Heaney
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Go, Alex, Go! Couldn't happen to a nicer Frog. I'm curious, while we are all pestering you with questions, what video games does a deep Euro-gamer play? Any recommendations?
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theaney wrote:
Go, Alex, Go! Couldn't happen to a nicer Frog. I'm curious, while we are all pestering you with questions, what video games does a deep Euro-gamer play? Any recommendations?


Age of Wonders...
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Alex Rockwell
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Hi everyone.

Ok, two truths and a lie:

Mine will be much shorter and simpler than Yehuda's.


Edit: I am going to add more details to them now. Because itts interesting.


1) I once qualified for the Magic: the Gathering Pro Tour. It was in 2000, Urza's Sage block PTQs, and I was played a 'Squirrel Prison' deck, modified with Plow Unders. Back then, there was only $250 for first, I got 2nd place (there were 2 qualifying slots per tournament back then, not 1 like it is now). I didnt go due to a combination of school and money issues. (Nowadays they give a free round trip plane ticket for winning the PTQ).

2) I flew a plane, 8 years before I ever drove a car. My grandfather was a WW2 pilot, and loved to fly. He lived in Anacortes near the airport there and had a personal, 5 or 6 person plane. I first flew it when I was 12.

3) I have a U.S. Secret Clearance. I work at Boeing, and work on various network secrutiy applications for government contracts. I started working there in October 2002, and got my clearance last year.
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Alex Rockwell
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More time to answer questions later.
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Daniel Edwards
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I see Alex as my soul-geek.

He says all the things I think but could never be bothered writing down.

Alex if you had to play a game with a gun to your head for your life, what would you play?
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myopia wrote:
I see Alex as my soul-geek.

He says all the things I think but could never be bothered writing down.

Alex if you had to play a game with a gun to your head for your life, what would you play?


Probably 2 player Caylus. Unless I knew the person I was playing against was significantly weaker than me at Chess.

Because There wouldnt be very many popele out there who could beat me at no luck 2er Caylus.

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ekted wrote:
Congrats, Alex!

I see you've rated 219 games, but only own 40. For someone who seems to love many serious games, this seems a little odd. Do you have a lot of gaming friends who own all the others? How much gaming do you do online compared to face-to-face?


I play online for a few hours a week, though in the past I have played much more.

I player Magic FtF in person about once a week (~4-5 hours) and board games FtF about twice a week (~12+ hours?)

Thus being the majority of my free time.


I dont keep my BGG stats perfectly updated, so there are some that I own but havent marked as such, but probably not too many. I probably have 40-50.

I know a lot of people that have lots games, and usually only buy the ones I really love.
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Matthew M
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myopia wrote:

Alex if you had to play a game with a gun to your head for your life, what would you play?


....and does the answer change depending on whether you can pick your position in the player order or not?

-MMM
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Octavian wrote:
myopia wrote:

Alex if you had to play a game with a gun to your head for your life, what would you play?


....and does the answer change depending on whether you can pick your position in the player order or not?

-MMM


No, because in 2er Caylus, going first is, if any advantage at all, worth less than $1, so its not significant.
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Antigonus Monophthalmus
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Hear, hear!

Alexfrog is one of the BGGs I wish to be one day!
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Ann De Haes
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Alex, congrats on being Geek of the week.

I love your strategy articles, especially on PR. I point 'new' (after a few plays) to them, and they become better players. Despite having read them more than once, I still cannot win PR, depending on the crowd (I think I use the articles too much as a dogma).

Where do you find the time indeed! I wish I could devote that much time to boardgames
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theaney wrote:
Go, Alex, Go! Couldn't happen to a nicer Frog. I'm curious, while we are all pestering you with questions, what video games does a deep Euro-gamer play? Any recommendations?


I dont play video games as much anymore, but I still do some.

Civ 4 is very good, and I'd recommend it.

Sometimes at my game group we play video games, currently: super monkey ball 2 (the monkey target game). Its awesome. Especially with 4 people trying to bump each other off the target.

Generally, I like simulation games the best, like the civilization series, Master of Orion (1 and 2, but not sucky Moo2 which was my biggest letdown game ever), etc, adventure games like the Zelda series, and RPGs like the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest (Dragon Warrior) series.
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EvilTimmy wrote:
What drives you to "solve" a game? Don't you enjoy a little mystery in your life? kiss


Thats what I enjoy most in a game.

Quote:

And given your propensity for analysis of the better games, would you ever consider designing your own game? i.e. Build upon your vast knowledge of all the mechanics that you know work (or don't)?


Definitely. I have been making up games since I was a little kid, like 3 years old. Obviously, they became more sophisticated over time. Mostly, I made up games and played them with my brother. Most of them imitated aspects of various video games I was playing.

More recently, I have worked on several board games, because that is an area of games that it is possible for one person to make (as opposed to video games, which I would love to design, but will never realistically be able to, since a video game is a couple designers, dozens of programmers and dozens of artists, and its hard to rise to the top.

I had a cooperative 1 against many dungeon crawl game, which is part resource management, part bluffing game, with the heroes playing cards against the dungeon master as they go through rooms, and the dungeon master negating the cards of a certain hero of their choice. SO the heroes must plan/bluff what they are doing, and the ungeon master tries to make their power insufficient. But the heroes want to use the minimal fore necessary, to conserve resources.
I played it about 8-10 times, but havent worked on it in over a year or so.

I am currently working on a game, which I have played about 15 times now in the past 2 months in my game group, and intend to continue working on. Almost everyone who has played it has liked it, and want to play it again.

It is an auction, building and resource management game, with similarities to economic building games like Puerto Rico and Caylus. (Of course...because thats the kind of game I like best)
Basically, I am trying to make the game that I really want to play.

While I dont expect it could be the next PR or the next Caylus (no auction game could ever reach that height, I think, because they arent as well liked), I believe that it will be a very good game when finished. It's probably gone through a dozen revisions at this point, and it keeps getting better. I am very excited about it, and I find myself really wanting to play it.
It has a high learning curve and tons of buildings. But that also means it has a lot of depth, and a TON of stuff to analyze / figure out the strengths of. Because I love that stuff.

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Alex Rockwell
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meowsqueak wrote:
I'm curious about one thing - are you still playing Age of Wonders?


I havent played it in a couple years. I played AoW 2 and AoW shadow magic for several months, a while back.

Age of Wonders 2 is essentially the virtual sequel to Master of Magic, which was an amazing game from the mid 90s.

For almost a decade I wanted a sequel to it, and AoW 2 fulfilled that role, its like Master of Magic with less micromanagement, and more goodies.
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Coyotek4 wrote:
So, what is it about 3+ players that you just abhor with Caylus? Have you ever played with so many? Is there a story there?


Well, I'd play it with 3, (though not on BSW, because I have to protect m win %....I hate the BSW system, a rating system would be SOOOO much better and more accurate than a win %).

More players does two things:
1) +~30 minutes per player (less online). I dont like the added length.

2) Increased player chaos and provost screwing.

I just think the 2 player works SO WELL, that I dont see the point adding more.


I played a couple 5 player games, and they commonly featured situations where 3 players would gang up on 1 or 2 others to move the provost. THings like: ok, each of the 2 of us moves it one each, and we screw that guy out of $3. Or stuff like that. It just annoyed me a lot.

In general, I do NOT like meanness, or player screwing in multiplayer games. I avoid those kinds of games.
I do not like to be in the position where I have two choices:

A) Attempt to influence a player to make the move that helps themself and me, and screws some other guy, and not make the move that helps themself and the other guy, and screws me.

B) Dont attempt to influence the player.


If I dont attempt to influence them, then I likely get screwed, and I am not doing a good job of playing to win the game. If I attempt to influence them, I am being mean to the other player who is getting screwed as a result.

I hate being in the position of being nice vs winning. Because I want to do both. So it makes me avoid those games. Also, this is much of the reason I tend to like games with less palyers, because usually the amount of player chaos increases as the # of players increases, and I fel that pressure more.


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Shade_Jon wrote:

2) We share many similar tastes in deeper Eurogames. What is your gaming history and how did you come to these games? What games or gaming styles did you reject on the way?


My history of playing games:

As a kid, I liked games of all kinds. Board games (though not as much, because we didnt have many good ones), and especially card games and video games. And games that I would make up and play with my brother.

Video games were the bulk of my gaming for most of my childhood.


Soon after Magic the Gathering came out, I got into it. I played it for many years. I always wished I had all the cards, and never had the money. So I proxied a LOT. Some people I played iwth didnt like that. I just thought they were bad players, who didnt want to play the REAL game, which is where each player has access to any cards they want, and builds the best deck they can from everything. I played it on and off for many years.

When I was living near the University of Washington, going to school, there was the Wizards of the Coast tournament center there. I started playing magic there about 4 days a week, in tournaments, and got very good. I may or may not have qualified for the pro tour, depending on wether statement 1 in my 2 turths and a lie is true. But I didnt ever go. Back then they only offered $250 for the winner f a qualifying tournament, and I was a poor student. Either that or I didnt really qualify. Hehe.
When the game center closed, I quit magic for 4 years.

(I got back into it a year ago, when magic hall of famer Alan Comer came to our boardgame group a couple times. He was wearing some magic T-shirt and I talked to him about magic, and we played a couple games. I didnt know who he was at the time, he was just Alan. He told me a bout a draft going on at Microsoft. Later, I figured out who he was. I've been playing again for the past year, and goignto the major tournaments in the area.


But back to the game center...
When I was there playing magic sometime, some of the magic players pulled out Settlers of Catan and we palyed it a couple times. I thought it was pretty good.

Two years after that, in 2001, I was in a Games and Gizmos store and saw an ad for a boardgame group playing 'games like Settlers'. I thought I'd try it. I played Tigris and Euphretes and thus immediately fell in love with german games.
I also met Jim Campbell (jimc on BGG, icetrey on BSW), and we played 2 player games for hours, like Hera nad Zeus, and he showed me many of the german board games. We've been good friends ever since.

Puerto Rico increased the board game addiction, as I played it 30 times in the first month it was released.



Quote:

3) Who are you outside of gaming? Single? Married? In school or working? Kids? Do you look or act anything like your avatar? Or your nickname? Where did they come from?


Outside of gaming I am a software engineer at Boeing. I'm 26, graduated form the University of Washington with a degree in Physics and a degree in Computer Science.

I'm single.

I dont look like Aragorn. But I love the lord of the rings, and its the best avatar. The avatar came because I wanted a lord of the rings avatar, and I found that and it looked good. It was a good choice.

The nickname 'Alexfrog' is a long story.

It starts back in 2001. I was in a long distance relationship, and only got to se my girlfriend at the time occasionally. We both liked the poetry of the Sufi poet Rumi (who was the founder of the Whirling dervishes, and wroeta lot of amazing, passionate poetry, mostly mystical in nature and about the souls quest for its Beloved (God).

There is this poem about a mouse and a frog, where they love each other but cant see each other much because the mouse lives on land and the frog lives out in the water. In the poem, it is an allegory of the relationship between the body and the soul. But referred to it in terms of our relationship, being far away and not seeing each other often. I was the Alexfrog.


I started playing chess (bughouse actually) on the Free Internet Chess Server (FICS), and put in Alexfrog as my username. After this, my girlfriend and I broke up. Shortly after that, I found BSW. I was playing bughouse a lot, and used to the name Alexfrog, so I put it in there too. And then since I played that a LOT, it became my online name, which I now use for forums, BGG, etc.

Yup, long story.


4) Where do you find the time for your more than 4000 BGG article and forum replies, as well as for thousands of game plays on BSW and elsewhere?


I spend the majority of my time outside of work, on games, and things related to games like posting on BGG. And I love checking BGG every chance I get.


Quote:

5) You have posted variants for many games, like Werewolf and so on. How do you feel about variants versus the "straight" game? Do you play your own variants or other people's variants more?


I and others in my group developed all the variant roles, and balanced, interesting, strategic rolesets for different numbers of players, over the course of dozens, even hundreds of games. I like them because they add a lot of depth and strategy and deduction to the game. Standard werewolf is pretty random, and about where the will of the mob flows. With lots of good, balanced variant powers, a higher percentage of evil roles, and a lot more information in the game, it has a lot more deduction, bluffing, and plans, which add a lot ot the game. So playing in person, I mostly use rolesets I and my group have developed. On BGG of course, I paly in whatever games seem most interesting, when I have time.


Quote:

6) Any fixes for TI3 yet? Are there any games that you have fixed from unplayable to enjoyable?


I played it only those three times, in the week after it came out. Its really long, which prevents its play. I think the best way to make the game good, for me, would be to make it 3 on 3 teams with a victory condition of eliminating X opponents. (2 seems a good # for X).

But no matter what, no version or variant of TI3 could be better than Die Macher. So if I was goign to play a game that long, I would want to play Die Macher, because its amazing.


Quote:

7) What other sites do you frequent on the Internet?


Mostly sites related to Economics, and Investing, which is another of my major interests. Specifically, I have been investing in Precious metals, as well as energy, for 3 years now (since I started having a significant amoutn of savings to invest, due to having a job), with a gain of close to 100% so far in those 3 years. I have chosen this as my area of investment after a lot of study of economic cycles, past history of various asset classes, reading about the economic conditions of the world etc.

Basically, stocks tend to alternate between 15-20 year bull market periods and 15-20 year bear market periods.

In the bull market periods, Stocks will go up about 5-10 fold in value of 15-20 years. In the bear market periods, they will break even or lose money over 15-20 years. For example: 1929 - 1949 bear market, 1949-1966 bull market, 1966-1982 bear market, 1982-2000 bull market, 2000-201X bear market. I dont actually think stocks will decline a lot, just that they wont go up a lot either. No point being invested for 15 years in something going nowhere.

Commodities on the other hand, run counter-cyclical to stocks. WHen stocks do well, they do TERRIBLY. But when stocks do poorly they do well. THe last inflation peak was in 1980. Prices of everything were very high then, and companies that produces various commodities were making tons of money. They invested greatly in increasing their capacity, and thus the increased supply caused prices to gone down throughout the 80s and 90s. Commodities endured a brutal 20 year bear market. By the end of this time, companies were doing nothing to explore or increase their production of various goods. (This is one of the main causes of our high oil prices now...no one explored for oil for 20 years because prices were so low). Eventually prices hit bottom in 2001 and have begun to climb, due to increasing demand from developing countries like china and india, and reduced supply due to companies not exploring, not developing new capacity, and going out of business.

Thus, we are in a commodities bull market and will be for years to come.
The general public remains clueless in this aspect (as always), and will only become interested in things like gold when the media tells them to, near the top. Until then, the media will continue to say that gold has gone up too much and is 'a bubble' for years. Its gone from 250 in 2001 to the 600s and 700s in 2006. And will go to the thousands in the years to come. Silver has gone from a low of $4 to the 12-15 range, and will go to triple digits, while people are told its already gone up too much, the whole way until the end when they get the public in. This is how it always works.

There are several reasons for precious metals doing very well. First of all, there is the general commodities bull market. Secondly, gold production has been falling for years, as the gold companies did almost NO exploration in the 90s. And it takes about 7 years to develop a mine, from scratch, because it takes so long to explore, do feasibility, get environmental permits, etc. So there is a tremendous lag time before high prices start to increase supply.
Also, there is the massive quantity of dollars which have been created, the huge trade and budget deficits, which are decreasing confidence in the dollar. Eventually ,the dollar will cease to be the worlds reserve currency, and its value will plunge. This has already begun, as various countries (who dont like us and want to hurt us economically) start to price their oil in other currencies, reducing dependance on the dollar).

Paper money is the greatest fraud in human history. Essentially, people believe the dollar has value because other people are willing to give them stuff for it. But it has no value. It is as worthless as the paper it is printed on. It is backed by nothing at all. It represents no claim to any true asset. And the government can create an infinite suply of them at will, if necessary, to pay for, say, invading Iraq because we need to stake a claim to oil supplies.

Whenever the quantity of these paper dollars increases, the value decreases.

What is the protection? To own, not paper money (or equivalents), but true assets, which have value, and have always had value throught thousands of years of human civilization.

Eventually we will see hyperinflation again in the U.S. It might be a 70s style hyperinflation of only 10-15% a year. Or it could be worse. But however bad it is, it will cause a manic rush into true assets, as people see the value of their savings fall apart, and panic to get it into some asset which will maintain its value.


The best website I have found for explaining all this is:

www.galmarley.com


By the way, silver will do even better than gold, in percentage terms. It is even more volatile. Silver has been in a suply deficit for 15 years, and most of the worlds supplies of silver have been consumed. It is used heavily in electronics....in very very tiny amounts over millions and millions of units. Those minute pieces of silver are not recovered. They are lost.

In 1950, the U.S. government has several billion ounces of silver, the largest stockpile in the history of human civilization. In 2002 it ran out and has been buying ever since. In the past several months, an 'exchange traded fund' for silver has been introduced, which bought 130 million ounces (a significant percentage of the worlds silver...like probably 10-20% or so). Shares of this fund, each share equivalent to 10 ounces, have recently been made available for trade. The purchase of this mere billion dollars of silver has rocketed the price up 100% in recent months. A billion dollars is NOTHING in tersm of the amount of investing money out there. The stock market has over 10 TRILLION dollars. The bond market is several times that. A billion dollars is like 1 out of every 100000 dollars out there. If even 1% of the capital of the world attempts to buy precious metals, it would send the price to unimaginable levels. And if there was a crisis of confidence in the dollar, there would be a LOT of money trying to find something of true value....


In the 1998 to 2001 period, silver reached its lowest valuation, compared to goods and services, throughout the entire history of civilization. And this, at a time when the vast majority of the worlds above-ground silver has been consumed in the 2nd half of the 20th century.

In 1980, the Hunt brothers sent sivler to $50, trying to corner the market. The government dumped hundreds of millions of ounces nad crashed the price and bankrupted them. The Government has to silver to dump now. It just isnt there anymore. Bill gates could buy all the worlds silver at current prices, several times over.

This chart is 600 years of silver prices, in inflation adjusted terms:
http://goldinfo.net/silver600.html


There is probably no greater investment opportunity in our lifetimes, than to buy silver now. And by that I mean it is better than buying tech stocks in the early 90s.

If you put all your money in gold and silver now, there will come a time in the next 10 years or so when you can sell it, and never worry aobut money ever again. I do not think this or believe this. I know it, as though I had been to the future myself. There is no other possibility for the current world economic conditions. By studying economic cycles, it becomes too clear. This coming rise in the precious metals will be greater than the mania of the late 70s and early 1980. It will be at least as big as the internet bubble. All the worlds paper money will eventually collapse in value.

All things eventually return to their intrinsic value. Paper money has a value of nothing at all. No paper money in the history of civilization (and there have been a LOT), has ever done anything but eventually become completely worthless. In the modern age it will be no different.


For a period of about 6 months from late 2003 to early 2004 I was completely obsessed with investing. I studied technical analysis, economics, and everything related to this commodities and precious metals bull market. I probably spent 20 horus a week focused on that over htose months. Possibly even more time than I played games. Since then my focus on it has returned to a much more normal level.


Quote:

8) What is your local real-world gaming activity like? Do you ever go to conventions?


I play at the seattle area game group Emerald City Gamers on saturday nights. I play magic most tuesdays at Microsoft, and occasional large magic tournaments. I also play boardgames some other times, like when out group has events on sundays or holidays.

I have never gone to a convention before.

Quote:

9) What is your favorite Margaret Weis series (mine would be Star of the Guardians)?


There are so many good ones. I love star of the guardians. Its just so emotionally powerful. It made me cry, serveral times.

I think my favorite is the Death Gate cycle.
Because after a while, it makes you feel like: "I dont care what happens anymore, all I want is for Haplo (the protagonist) to win. I dont know what it would mean for him to 'win' . Its not like he is good or evil, he just needs to succeed. I dont see any possible way for anything but a terrible outcome to come from all this, but somehow, I just want it to happen...."


Second favorite would be the Sovereign Stone trilogy. Book 1 of it especially. That book is amazing, because it actually has no characters who arent evil. They are all evil to some degree or other. And it gets to the point where you dont even know what you want to happen anymore. So cool.


I really like The Star of the Guardians, the Darksword trilogy, the original Dragonlance Trilogy, the Dragonlance 'Legends' Trilogy, and the new Dragonlance books by her. (The dragonlance books by Weis and Hickman are great, the rest by other lesser authors arent worth it).

Quote:

10) What's more fun: playing the game, or analyzing the strategy?


Analyzing the strategy!
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Tim K.
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Alexfrog wrote:
If you put all your money in gold and silver now, there will come a time in the next 10 years or so when you can sell it, and never worry aobut money ever again. I do not think this or believe this. I know it, as though I had been to the future myself. There is no other possibility for the current world economic conditions. By studying economic cycles, it becomes too clear.

Don't believe everything you think

The future price of anything is pure speculation. As much as all the players would like to believe, the market is not a perfect information game (unless you worked for Enron back in '00). It is just as likley that political maneuvers and/or disasters (natural or man-made) will play a more significant role, toppling any predictions about supply vs demand.

Silver may be necessary now, but after 'The Rapture' sticks and stones will be the commodity du jour

I've got my bets on a worldwide flu pandemic. That's why all my money is tied up in chicken bullion. Those people are gonna need a lot of chicken soup! zombie
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jbrier
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HEY!

I'm going to say the lie is your government clearance, because the magic thing I think is true and of the other two the airplane story seems too false to actually be false.

Congratulations on being geek of the week; it has been great playing with you on BSW- from the days of obsessively playing PR years ago to recent schoolings you've given me at Caylus.

I'm excited to hear about the progress of your game design in months to come (the pressure is on now that you've gone public! expect a call from ALEA next month surprise )

Okay I guess I'll follow protocol and throw out a couple questions....

I've been playing Amun-Re alot lately (mostly on SPW), and in fact I think it has become my second favorite game (after PR).

I don't know that I agree with your enterprise of trying to objectively rank the values of the provinces, even if it's within the context of what round they come up in, because it also depends so heavily on what other provinces are up for auction that round. But, I do notice a trend in your evaluation to find the provinces that focus less on farming and more on supplemental income more valuable, and I think this is reflected in my own behavior and that of other regular players I see in games I am playing.


Do you think (in the most general sense, because there are certainly specifics that compromise the question) that the whole farming versus stealing tension is balanced?? In the sense that given the whole spread of possible combinations of provinces that could come up, do you think on average there is a balance between it being profitable to pursue a heavy farming strategy versus one of seeking primarily supplemental forms of income?




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Billy McBoatface
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KGS is the #1 web site for playing go over the internet. Visit now!
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Hi. I've always liked reading your analyses, even when I haven't played the game, because it's fun to see the options you considered and what you came up with. The way you approach the games seems to me very similar to the way that books on "traditional" thinking games like chess, go, bridge, etc. have been written.

My question to you is, do you find it takes all the fun away (for you) when other people have already done heavy analysis of the game? Your earlier comments mentioned that you play some chess, do you like to look at a particular opening and analyze away in your spare time to try to find the optimal move, or do you just say "heck, I'm sure this is already in a chess textbook somewhere, so why bother?" (If you play go or bridge, then feel free to say whether you like to analyze them too.)
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John Elbl
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Alex,

With your slant twords skill heavy games, have you ever tried an 18xx?

Some of them (18AL, 18GA, 18VA, 18FL, 18Scan, ...) are designed to take about 3 hours with 3-5 players, and are quite dense in strategy. I Have been playing a lot of 18xx during the past year, and have converted So many Euros seem 'light' now. (Note: I said many, _not_ all.)
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