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Although this game took place years ago, it is still being talked about today. In this Episode of Epic Moments in Gaming we look at Sucking Vacuum. It takes place aboard the International Space Station and the rules say you should adopt a foreign accent. I played a Russian and used my best impression of Checkov. I like to say “Wessel”

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Here is my character. As you can see a beautiful standup that no mini could match. The game Sucking Vacuum is produced by Alien Menace who thinks games don’t have to be expensive to be cool. A statement with which I totally agree.

Anyway, my oxygen supply was good and I had formulated a plan to win the game.

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I had already collected the items I needed to win the game. I had a complete spacesuit. I also had the computer program to fuel the escape pod, and I had the autopilot for me to successfully navigate the escape pod back to earth.

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However, there was a problem. I had to make my way through my opponent the evil German

who also had the same goal in mind. To steal my fuel program and autopilot and escape by himself in the escape pod,

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A menacing standup by any stretch of the imagination! As I approached the computer terminal to fuel the escape pod, he was waiting for me. He was armed with a weapon so deadly I shuddered from fear.

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Yes, that is what it looks like, a toilet brush. Hitting me with that would knock 3 oxygen out of me and I would be Sucking Vacuum and an easy target for the Evil German to steal my auto pilot and Fuel program. To hit me The German would need to roll a 1-3 on a 6 sided die. I looked on in trepidation as he rolled…

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A FIVE! That nasty toilet brush missed my head as I dodged in the weightless atmosphere in slow motion. Now it was my turn. I had to knock the oxygen out of that German so I could make it to the Escape Pod. I was not armed but I had a much better weapon and her name was Annabelle!

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Annabelle is the Space Station’s helper robot and she was under my control. I had rigged an old Atari joystick to control her and I wasn’t going to use her to sweep the floor, nooooo

Annabelle was going to attack the German and when she attacks no die roll is needed, she never misses and she will slap you for 4 O2 right out of your oxygen supply! Annabelle reminds me of the female android on Bride of Pinbot, the old pinball machine and its in the balls that the German took it and you guessed it, he was sucking vacuum!

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The Evil German now had only one thing he could do! He had to slowly move toward the nearest Oxygen tank to refill his air supply.

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As the German slowly moved out of my path and headed to the oxygen supply, I made my way to the computer terminal and inserted the floppy disk to initiate the fueling program.

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The Escape Pod is fueled and I make my way with a hint of arrogance to the Escape Pod. I engage the Auto Pilot and I leave the International Space Station sailing my “wessel” to a glorious victory and into the books as another EPIC MOMENT IN GAMING! (echo)

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Welcome brave gamer to another episode of Epic Moments in Gaming! This week we look at another hidden gem, Shazamm! from Zman Games.

I remember this match well. It was a dark windy night, the electricity was out and the game was lit by candlelight. Appropriate since Thurgood and I were both playing the role of Wizards battling atop a bridge that was collapsing as we hurled a wall of flame towards each other.

I played the green wizard which was a beautiful standup(slight smile) of thick cardboard with a sturdy black base.

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No plastic mini could match the beauty of this marvelous standup. A flowing green robe with a Viking type helmet. Actually the Weeks Clan may hail from Viking ancestors but I have yet to inherit a horned helmet. Historians say that Vikings never wore horned helmets it would be too easy for a foe to grab the horns in battle but this is not entirely true because ceremonial priests may have worn them and as I am now in the role of a wizard this fits nicely. But I digress, back to this Epic Moment in Gaming. (Insert Fanfare Here)

My opponent played by Thurgood was the Evil red Wizard and I had him on the ropes. The wall of fire blazing so close it singed his nose hairs! This would also be our last round if by some chance I was victorious because the wall of fire would push him into the lava below as the bridge continued to crumble away.

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However, I am afraid all did not look like a Rose Garden and certainly I was not promised a Rose garden in this game! My mana was at 3 meager points while The Evil Red Wizard had 14 points! This was certainly bad news for me!

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I was weak and exhausted. Fighting tooth and nail with every spell I could muster but I was foolish to squander so much of my mana. I should have been more careful. I looked at my dial and the number 3 stared directly at me.

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Fate was laughing at me! Had I come this far only to be defeated by Thurgood’s master planning? I looked over rather sheepishly at his evil red eye. I knew what lay beneath and had no doubt he would spend his full 14 points of mana in an attempt to foil me and send the wall of flames towards my imported silk robe from Essen.

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The flicker of the candlelight on the table twisted Thurgood’s features into such an evil smile it defies description. He slowly turned over the only spell card he played this round.

I was afraid to look at it might have been better if I didn’t. As I looked I heard thunder outside in the distance. Quite appropriate.

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Hath you no mercy Thurgood! A double dose? This means The Red Wizard now has a total of 28 mana! But this was not needed! Thurgood knew I had only 3 mana, I was easily defeated. Playing the double dose was like pouring salt in the wound. A cruel play.

Another sound of thunder could be heard in the distance as I raised my lowered head and cocked my eyebrow like Spock. I had also only played a single spell card. A single green card lay on the table waiting to be turned over. A bead of sweat could be seen rolling down the forehead of Thurgood as he struggled to keep smiling. Suspense was building. My hand went for the spell card to turn it over.

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The knockout punch was delivered to Thurgood as I turned over the card. What a glorious card and the card he feared most in this situation. A card that would send the Evil Red Wizard swimming in a pool of lava.

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Since i was the loser with only 3 mana the wall of flames engulfed the Red Wizard and forced him back to the falling flagstone and sent him screaming to his lava bath.

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It didn’t dawn on to me until later that the little green lizard there was actually Michael Barnes in familiar mode, a minion of the Red Wizard!

As I looked over the edge, A balloon simliar to the one in the Wizard of Oz appeared out of nowhere, I hopped inside just in time as the bridge totally collapsed. Despite my harrowing experience I couldn’t help breaking out in song, singing “Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon” and to my surprise Greg Schloesser and Rick Thornquist both wearing Mr. Rogers type sweaters, ¬†appeared from behind some sandbags and started singing backup to my song, ba ba ba, ba ba ba ba!

This concludes this episode of EPIC MOMENTS IN GAMING!

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It was late at the Pub and I had drank my share of Pints but I wasn’t so far gone as to have lost my gaming moxy and was in the mood for one last joust with a couple of ladies that were chatting up my last win at El Grande. I sat down in the corner with them. A Nice table that David O’Kelly kept for me since it worked perfect for gaming. I ordered another pint and set up the game of Loch Ness

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I took on the role of Claude McMirror and as the game progressed I knew it was a tight game, very close and anyone could win.

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This would be the last round as the Little Nessie would surely go past 65 on the board. I took a long sip of Ale from my mug and looked at the board.

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Big Nessie was 6 spaces away from my 7 value cameraman but the problem was Belinda Viewing had her value 7 cameraman 5 spaces away next to mine. I had two great photos of the trunk and tail of Nessie as you can see.

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I needed Big Nessie to stop in front of my number 7 cameraman so I could get a shot of the head and yes the head was available to grab from the face up cards,

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The decision facing me now was what move card to play. It was late and I was full of Ale and I thought I had a pretty good idea what cards remained for Belinda and Filosa but I couldn’t be sure. I played my card face down and hoped for the best. I needed Big Nessie to stop in front of my green 7 cameraman so I could get the head shot. The head shot would give me a complete series and 10 points which from my calculations should be enough to win the game. I took a sip of Ale and Belinda turned over the move cards,

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Nightmare scenario! A blasted FIVE!!! That moves Big Nessie directly in front of Belinda!

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I will get points sure, but I won’t get to get the head shot photo I desperately needed to win the game! CURSES! Belinda smiling ear to ear as she starts to grab for the Head Shot photo.

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But wait! My droopy lids opened as something dawned on me. I had put a token on the Bagpipes space on the board. Those lovely BAGPIPES! I felt so good I almost wanted to put on a Kilt and walk around a game convention. Do you realize what this means? The bagpipes allow me to move BIG NESSIE one space more directly in front of my Green cameraman!

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Belinda looked like she had hit by a sledge hammer. I picked up the head shot of Nessie, which did indeed give me the game!

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BGG CON 2014

Posted: November 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

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Just returned from a fantastic gaming convention, BGG Con in Dallas. Those who know my history may wonder how I was able to invade BGG CON since I have been banned from the site for years. Well, I came in through a side route by offering to demo in the Stronghold Games booth. Stephen Buonocore, The Evil One, supplied my badge. I was doing a demo for “Diamonds” the new game from Stronghold designed by Mike Fitzgerald of Mystery Rummy fame. The photo above shows me with Stephen and Mike in the Stronghold Booth. This game was really the only choice for me as Stronghold’s other game offerings this year leaned toward heavy Euros with Panamax and Kanban. Reaction to Diamonds was great and the game soldout in the booth no doubt to my masterful demos. There was also a Diamonds tournament at the Con and the winner was taught by me. *Slight arrogant smile*

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The Sheriff of Nottingham was on hand and the buzz from his game was substantial, it is on my list.
While I was doing my demos I just kept my ears open to hear what people were talking about and Sheriff of Nottingham and RED7 were two I kept hearing about and also Tragedy Looper from Zman. Zev was hyping the game and told me I needed to check it out. Many were singing the praises of Tragedy Looper.

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When I was off duty from the Stronghold Booth I entered the Texas holdem Tournament, a staple of BGG Con every year. I finished in the top 25% and unfortunately didn’t make it to the final table. My prize was a 100 dollar Boardgamegeek Poker chip. However, after I was knocked out I swaggered down to the lower level to find the Battling Tops Tournament in full swing. While I was on the sidelines some guy dressed as an Angel of Death Costume grabbed my beer and took a swig. To my surprise it was the Evil one himself, Stephen Buonocore. As I sat ringside, to my surprise there was an open slot and I grabbed a top and joined the fray. Unfortunately, I was knocked out after winning two heats no doubt due to the lack of blessing from Tom Vasal who was dressed as a Cardinal.

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Walking through the huge open gaming floor a came upon a ray of hope. A group of gamers who needed a player for Thunder Road!!! I put my beer down on the table as they were asking if I would teach the game. I felt like it was my duty as the last standing Ameritrash Icon. After my cars were scorched by machine gun and helicopter fire. I left the table hearing that the game was the best in the library.

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I got to meet Rich Sommer of Mad Men Fame he was an avid gamer and is seen here with Mike Fitzgerald.
Rich also sand the praises of Red7 and suggested I pick it up. Rich was the host during the closing ceremonies as they gave away piles of games. At one point Rich had to scold Buonocore for being too rowdy in his booth, his closing night party was going strong and for Matt Loter to call him a lightweight when it comes to drinking is just wrong!

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No wins for me with the raffle tickets but a big win for gaming. Every notion I had about BGG CON I had was blown out of the water. The Con is all Euro? WRONG! Just look at the photo of Thunder Road being played, along with Descent, and Twilight Imperium, Memoir 44…the list goes on!

Playing with strangers sucks? WRONG! Everybody was super friendly, met lots of great people. This Con was not strictly the “inside” crowd. Pull somebody walking by and ask if they know who Scott Nicholson, Michael Barnes, or Tom Vasel is? Most would say who???

Cons only have Nerds? Wrong!!! family gamers, cute women, and gamers of all stripes. The fact is Gaming as a whole is stronger than any little niche tribe that thinks it has a hold on the hobby.

Sure the insiders were there and I talked with them all. The last night I talked with Aldie and I laughed hard when he said they used to lament the name of Steve Weeks. He also mentioned Michael Barnes and when I told Aldie barnes was goin through a Euro phase by playing games like Tower of Babel, all Aldie could do was smile like a chesire cat.

As far as people knowing me from my Podcast days only Aldie and a few other recognized me. Octavion did not. As I sat at my demo table playing Diamonds with a group of women, one guy saw my badge and said,

“Didn’t you used to do a podcast?”…I smiled and said yes.

*Cue theme to CUBE CONFUSION*

Nexus Ops at BGG Con

Posted: November 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

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Wonderful custom Monolith for Nexus Ops in which I never did control but did manage to win the game. I always thought control of the Monolith was essential for victory but I completed my missions and that gave me the game.

Sewer Pirats

Posted: May 6, 2013 in boardgames

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Who could not resist trying this theme for a game? In Sewer Pirats, vermin cruise down the vile waters to collect the most valuable trash. Your crew? A rat, snail, weasel, racoon, cockroach and toad. 4 of these vile creatures will comprise your crew on 3 ships each players creatures trying to be Captain of the ship or at least get on board for a cut of the booty! The Captain gets the best prize and then it all slides down hill, kind of like the corporate world! HA!

The components in this game ae top notch. Fantasy Flight sets a new bar in cardboard counters these are the Rolls Royce of cardboard counters! The minis are well done. Take a look on the internet at some of the paint jobs! Fantastic! The creature abilities are perfect! For example, the cockroach can slip on a ship without playing cards and the Weasel can “weasel” onto another ship and be captain again, while to toad hops forward and the Racoon robs a card from you just like a bandit!

I played several games of this and enjoyed them all. The game is not too long and it has many difficult decisions. Love it!

Mr. Jack Pocket

Posted: May 3, 2013 in boardgames

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I have been playing games a long time and I have never seen so much game packed into such a small box. Mr. Jack Pocket is a two player tour de force which keeps you on the edge of your seat as one player plays Sherlock Holmes and the other player plays Jack the Ripper. This deduction game is unlike any other no cards, just flipping counters, making moves and trying to eliminate suspects before time runs out. It is short and very satisfying and I highly recommend it!

Oh and by the way my favorite Sherlock Holmes is Basil Rathbone!