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Gamer of the Month! Each month we'll highlight an active Board Games Community member.

For the month of July, 2017 our Gamer of the Month is +Luke Shiras

Please feel free to ask Luke any follow up questions and generally share in the glory of our hobby!

*Where do you live? *
San Francisco Bay Area

What do you do (optional)?

How long have you been involved in the hobby and what brought you to it?
Been playing since around 2003 when some friends from church started having game nights with Settlers and Pirates Cove. My interest didn't really explode until I moved to the Bay Area a few years back and met some more involved players who showed me the vast variety of games available.

What's your favourite game?
Right now, Kingdom Builder but I have a few Kickstarter games that need to see more table time which could take that spot. What I like about KB is that the game truly is different every time. Not only does the board change based on which four maps you use, but the scoring changes based on the cards drawn. One game you're looking to cluster settlements, the next you're stretching them out as thin as possible. Another game you're trying to do both, or neither.

Least favourite?
Right now it's Ticket to Ride and that's mostly because I suck at it. Or rather, the other people I play with are much better at it than I am. It's a good game but I don't feel I stand a chance and that discourages me from playing. I could get better if I played more but there are so many other games that feel more balanced for our circle of players.

Favourite designer?
Honestly, i don't know designers. Some names I recognize when I see them but mostly I fill my modest collection based on filling theme/mechanic voids. That said, I have noticed certain publishers I like and surprisingly, Gamewright seldom disappoints.

Who do you game with?
My wife and our friends mostly but I also play with a group of coworkers on a regular basis - twice a week at lunch. Unfortunately that limits our games to ones that can be played in 45 min or less. My oldest (age 9) enjoys games too but doesn't like all the same ones I like.

What would your perfect combination of theme and mechanic?
I'm really not that particular as variety is what makes gaming so much fun for me. That said, I think I'd like more Space themed games in my collection and ones that are mostly strategy but include a little bit of luck to keep the game from becoming dominated too early. Any mechanic that keeps the game and interaction moving is good.

Other interests, (I know that's just crazy talk)?
Reading mostly. I love a good Sci-Fi which is difficult to find and the occasional fantasy book as long as it's intelligently written. Love almost everything from John Scalzi and am currently enjoying The Dresden Files series (Book #15)

If you had one wish to spend on boardgames. What would it be?
Tough call. I mean from moving conventions closer to me, more FLGS and cheaper prices, I can't really decide. I think one thing I'd like to see is more efficient packaging. Some games are great at this but some games are 2-3x bigger than they need to be. This is usually driven by the desire to have more of a presence on the store shelf but means less room for games on my shelf.

Do you play with any house rules?
Only house rule is to have fun. We tend to let new players fix bad moves or recover from misunderstandings of the actual rules. The only rule I insist on is that dice rolls only count if they are on the table. If a die falls on the floor, it needs to be rerolled.

Can you recall a magical gaming moment?
Gaming is a magical moment in itself but the most memorable moments are the weird ones. One time while playing Settlers of Catan, a regular player got frustrated early on because his initial placement wasn't as good as he hoped. He complained that there was no point in playing since there was no chance he could win. As you probably guessed by now, he ended up winning the game after all.

The attention of the community is on you. Is there anything you wish to declare?
Del Taco is better than Taco Bell and Five Guys tastes better than In-N-Out but In-N-Out is a better value (so it's a tie) Also, Gold Mine is an under appreciated game. Don't be fooled by it's appearance, it is the most cutthroat game I've ever played.

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Does anyone live near Middletown, CT? My husband designed a game called Kapow! and they are holding a tournament at The Board Room cafe +The Board Room this coming Saturday. He's hoping to get it on Kickstarter in the next few months.
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Played Arkham Horror for the first time this weekend. It was an experience! We played with the Innsmouth Horror expansion, making an already massive game look truly impregnable. Two players each controlled two investigators and it took most of the afternoon, but we had an absolute blast.

I've played Eldritch Horror once before so I had a good idea of what to expect. Arkham is definitely more bloated than Eldritch, but I can see why some people prefer the older model to the newer. As a co-op and mid-weight Euro fan, this is way over may usual play time, but with the right mind set this can be a really fun experience. 
2 Photos - View album

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I'm getting ready for a game night, tonight. Codenames is in the deck box. It's there an accepted ratio for games taken : games played? I reckon it's 2:1 if you're lucky.

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There's a theme for board gaming this coming evening.

I be thinkin ye might be knowin what it be.

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FIRST MARTIANS : Went through the setup and about 1/2 of the rules. Can't wait for a full playthrough. This game is certainly a contender for the biggest table footprint of the games I own. Very well done. #firstmartians #boardgamesthattellstories 

What do you truly believe, with all of your heart, is the best children's game out there? Aimed at any age range between 4 and 10. And no sneaking out of the question with "I know a 6 year old who's an Agricola Master!" I'm talking about the ages printed on the box. 

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Champions of Midgard is a game I enjoy. Hubby just got an expansion so I'm looking forward to trying it out!

Got to play a few games with my friend +Eric Farmer yesterday.

Kingdomino - Love this game. Short little filler, with a lot of good planning.
Oh My Goods - Good stuff in a little package. Love the multi use cards.
Mystic Vale - Excellent new mechanic. It's a keeper.
DIce City - Not as random as it sounds. Lots of thought and planning. 

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Introducing Stone Daze - strategy board game!!
A simulteneous movement game where you lead a clan of extraordinary cave(wo)men in a duel of survival.
Find out more at the link and Please share the love & show your support!!! #StoneDaze #boardgame #strategy #kickstarter
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