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Subject: Geek of the Week #214 Jeff Wiles (jeffwiles) rss

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除名山 蔵芽戸
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And it is now that time of the week to pass the GotW title on...

I often find myself, as I imagine so do others, wondering what all the people that I have daily conversations with on this site actually look like. Well thanks to our next Geek of the Week you can see quite a few of us here in a yearbook he created on the forums. I can't imagine how tedious that was to make...

Our next Geek of the Week has been on this site for quite some time as he boasts all of the donor badges that exist! He is a member of the Order of the Golden Meeple, a legitimate winner of HiveGod's Major Awared, a fan of submarines, fine turtles, and lanterns that are green, a connoisseur of sausage pizza and bacon, and a stand up guy that never ever blames anyone but himself...A father, some sort of scientist, and the owner of these and other fine games:


I am pleased to introduce....


rumroll:


(wait, you already know from the title)


Jeff Wiles
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:fanfare:

Quote:
Thank you, Jonathan, for choosing me as Geek of the Week. This is a huge honor.

I hate origin stories; they make for crappy superhero movies, but here we go:

My earliest gaming memory is playing Monopoly with mom. I was probably four. We lived in the middle of nowhere until I was nineteen so opponents were hard to come by. It was just my younger brother and me most of the time. We played Trouble, Rummy, War, Inner Circle, Survive: Escape from Atlantis! and Dungeon!. Dungeon! led to RPGs, but it was still just my brother and me. We played [rpg=266], [rpg=224], and [rpg=549]. A few friends organized a [rpgfamily=192] group in the eighth grade. We played during PE. The adventures were horrible, boring, cookie-cutter stuff: You meet in a tavern and hear a rumor about a cave/haunted castle/abandoned mansion. The group died due to lack of interest and that was pretty much it for gaming until grad school. While working on my Masters in microbiology at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, one of my lab mates told me about a collectible Star Wars card game that would be released in a few weeks. Star Wars Customizable Card Game led to Magic: The Gathering.

Magic was fascinating. I read thousands of pages of rules Q & A on usenet. I stayed up late playing solo games against myself since I didn’t have any opponents. I finally tired of not getting to play and went out in search of other players. I’m pretty introverted, so going somewhere to meet total strangers like this was actually a big deal. There was a hole-in-the-wall gaming store across the street from my apartment complex and I knew people played there sometimes, so one Friday night I headed over there. It was called The Adventurer’s Inn, and it turned out to be not a real store, but a gaming club. They collected dues from members and sold candy bars, chips, and soda to pay the rent and keep the lights on. It was gaming nirvana. Volunteers opened the door late in the afternoon and they stayed open until everyone went home. More than once I stumbled out of there into the harsh light of dawn knowing I had about an hour to grab a shower and haul my exhausted carcass to campus. At my peak, I was playing D&D three nights a week, multiplayer Magic two nights a week, and boardgames and pick-up games of Magic the other two nights. I first played Catan, Cosmic Encounter, Iron Dragon and RoboRally at the Inn.

I couldn’t keep up the gaming-every-night pace forever, though, and had to cut back; I did have that degree to finish. Spending more time in the lab was very fruitful. I made the most important discovery ever:

Amy Wiles
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We got married in 2001.

Amy had started a D&D group the year before and I eventually took over from her as DM. One day I was on the internet looking for some adventure ideas, and stumbled across a D&D blog that kept mentioning “the bean game” but never called it by it’s real name: Bohnanza. More searching to figure out what this “bean game” was led me to BoardGameGeek.

It was mind-blowing. Germany was the boardgame center of the universe? Who knew?

I read as much as I could. There were so many awesome-sounding games that I wanted to try: Carcassonne, Tigris & Euphrates, Ra, El Grande. The list was endless. We bought games left and right. At first everything seemed like an amazing, must-own title, because compared to what I had been playing, it was. It took a while for Amy and me to figure out what we liked: Low player interaction, minimal luck, interacting systems. The sort of stuff that makes Ameritrashers wail, gnash their teeth, and proclaim that “it’s like playing a spreadsheet!” More specifically, I like games where you must have a plan B because plan A is probably going to be disrupted, and having plan C is probably a good idea too. Things like The Princes of Florence, Power Grid, and Die Macher. I also like games that have mechanics that will crush you if you fail to perform: In the Year of the Dragon, Age of Steam, and Notre Dame. I want to build a little machine and see how efficiently I can make it run. Despite those preferences, I like the occasional afternoon of dice rolling and pushing plastic figures around. War of the Ring (first edition) is excellent, and I look forward to epic games of Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie with my son when he’s old enough.

Nowadays, I spend the vast majority of my time in Chit Chat, but stalking following users with the wonderful new subscriptions function has pulled me back out into the General Gaming forum, Geeklists, reviews and other areas I hadn’t really paid a lot of attention to for a while.

It’s been a great seven years.

Two truths and a big fat lie:

#1 I’ve eaten barbecue ribs with Magic artist Dan Frazier. (The guy who did the moxen.)

#2 I’ve been bitten by a snake.

#3 This is not the lie.


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Amy Wiles
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Congratulations, babe! I love you!


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Diane Close
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All I can say is LEGION!!



Is it true that this is a secret photo of you leading one of their meetings?



Which one is Amy?
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Jeff Wiles
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pdclose wrote:
All I can say is LEGION!!

Is it true that this is a secret photo of you leading one of their meetings?


I deny all knowledge of Legion's activities.

pdclose wrote:
Which one is Amy?


The blonde one
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Mark Christopher
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Congrats, Jeff! This is long deserved!
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So Jeff, I'll start with some of my usuals, but then it will be all downhill from here.

If you had to live in/at the setting of any board game, what game would it be?

If you could make any board game into a movie, which one would you like to see?

If you were to have something board game related tattooed onto your body, what would you get and where?

If you were to have a few Geeks from out-of-state or country come and visit, what dish might you prepare for them and what game goes with said dish?
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Teddy Hardie-Lee
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Congrats!
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Congrats Jeff, enjoy your week in the spotlight!
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Rob
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You can't rob Peter, Paul and Mary to pay yourself.
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Congratulations Jeff! I'd be interested to know your thoughts on Twilight Struggle and Hammer of the Scots; your ratings on those games were lower than most. Thanks.
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James Cheevers
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Congrats Jeff!!!!
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Reticent Trickster
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A debonair, intellectual man-of-the-world is finally awarded GotW!

It's about time.

Congrats!
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Knock knock open up the door it's Riel
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sweet submarine on a stick!

Enjoy your week, Jeff!!!
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Chris Franka
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Great pick and well deserved!

(submarine)
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Jeff Wiles
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KSensei wrote:
So Jeff, I'll start with some of my usuals, but then it will be all downhill from here.

If you had to live in/at the setting of any board game, what game would it be?


Something with a present-day or near-future setting. I don't care how many cool games are set in the Renaissance, I enjoy modern conveniences too much to live during times when the Black Death ran free. And fantasy settings are no good either; the odds of being Dragon Victim #32 are much higher than those of being Sir Percival the Valiant.

So, Power Grid or On the Underground

KSensei wrote:
If you could make any board game into a movie, which one would you like to see?


Stronghold

I just learned about this one this week, and I love the premise. Movies about sieges are often ones I enjoy: The Two Towers, Zulu, The Alamo (the older one with John Wayne, not the recent one)

KSensei wrote:
If you were to have something board game related tattooed onto your body, what would you get and where?


Oh man. I hate needles, so this would never happen. Still, Derk's Tichu dragon is pretty sweet. And having something by Magic artists Quentin Hoover or Christopher Rush would be pretty cool. If it's small: on my shoulder. If it needs to be big: on my back.

KSensei wrote:
If you were to have a few Geeks from out-of-state or country come and visit, what dish might you prepare for them and what game goes with said dish?


(All Chit Chat memes aside)
Biscuits and gravy, bacon, and pancakes. That's a pretty greasy, sticky meal, so we're not going to be playing while we eat, for sure. But you need a big country breakfast before a long day on the farm, so maybe we'd play Agricola after we eat and wash our hands.
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Jeff Wiles
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markus_kt wrote:
Congrats, Jeff! This is long deserved!


Thanks Mark! Glad you think so!
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Congratulations!



* What game that you have not played would you most like to play?
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Jeff Wiles
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Teddy HL wrote:
Congrats!


G M K wrote:
Congrats Jeff, enjoy your week in the spotlight!


Thanks guys!
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Jeff Wiles
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Sinister Dexter wrote:
Congratulations Jeff! I'd be interested to know your thoughts on Twilight Struggle and Hammer of the Scots; your ratings on those games were lower than most. Thanks.


My ratings for those aren't super-high because I use the BGG system exactly as written, so things you don't want to play get rated lower.

In both games, I can see that there's a lot of subtle stuff that would take several games to grasp, and I'm just not willing to put in the time it would take.
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A most excellent selection for GotW! Congrats Jeff on your most deserving recognition. I have no questions for you at the moment, but I'm sure I'll think of something before the end of your reign! Enjoy your week in the sun! thumbsupthumbsupbacon
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Jeff Wiles
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Drew1365 wrote:
Holy crap! Chit-Chat ascendant!


Scary, ain't it?
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solove wrote:
Congrats Jeff!!!!


Thanks James!

davek wrote:
A debonair, intellectual man-of-the-world is finally awarded GotW!

It's about time.

Congrats!


In all honesty, I didn't know who you were talking about at first. Thanks Dave! When are you coming to Texas again?

purplewurple wrote:
sweet submarine on a stick!

Enjoy your week, Jeff!!!


Thanks Jack!
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Jeff Wiles
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bigtex01 wrote:
Great pick and well deserved!

(submarine)


Thanks Chris!
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Congrats Green Lantern.

IOU one visit to Texas with KSensei and one punch.

Oh, I have a question. Where should I punch you (and don't say Texas).
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Jeff Wiles
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vandemonium wrote:


Congratulations!



* What game that you have not played would you most like to play?


Thanks Van!

I would like to play At the Gates of Loyang just so I can have played all parts of the trilogy, but sitting on my game shelves right now, in desperate need of love and attention, are copies of Leonardo da Vinci, Khronos, Serenissima (first edition) and Merchants of the Middle Ages.

I think I'd have to go with Merchants of the Middle Ages. Kramer and Ulrich, market manipulation, pick-up-and-deliver. What's not to love?
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Jeff Wiles
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desertfox2004 wrote:
A most excellent selection for GotW! Congrats Jeff on your most deserving recognition. I have no questions for you at the moment, but I'm sure I'll think of something before the end of your reign! Enjoy your week in the sun! thumbsupthumbsupbacon


Thanks Leo! I look forward to your questions!
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