Touring the Table with Zach: Black Orchestra- Board Game Review

black orchestra

Black Orchestra takes place as the Nazi Party’s grasp of Germany is weakening and the horrible events and actions taken by the Nazis have caused dissent within their own ranks. Each player takes on the role of one of the members of “Schwarze Kapelle” or the Black Orchestra, which is the name that the Gestapo gave to the group of conspirators within the German military that plotted to overthrow Hitler.  

As an avid board gamer, it is easy to understand why World War II would be chosen as a common setting for many board games. Unsurprisingly, most games in this setting are traditionally war games with the method of play usually done through moving tanks, ships, and soldiers on a large map in order to depict battles. However, Black Orchestra takes a different approach to this expectation. The game uses an action point allowance system, so during a player’s turn, they are allowed three actions which consist of moving to different locations, drawing or playing cards, or conspiring. The conspire action in the game is the most useful but also the most dangerous. Whenever this action is taken, the player rolls three dice. Dependent upon the result of these dice, the player may gain more actions, increase the dissent towards Hitler’s regime, or increase their suspicion with the Gestapo. All of these actions are done in the hope of eventually being able to complete a plot card, which is the cards in the game that allow for an attempt to overthrow Hitler. When a player attempts to complete a plot card, they roll a number of dice dependent upon how prepared they are for that plot and if they roll a number of successes that equals Hitler’s military support, they win the game. If they fail to do so, then this will lead to trouble with the Gestapo.

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Michael Lane’s Top 10 Albums of 2018

Banner credited to Michael Lane

Thought I wouldn’t make it this year, huh? This is really (extremely!!!) late, but I truly enjoy writing and crafting these lists more than you could probably understand, so I had to return for the fourth consecutive year to rank my 10 favorite albums of the year.

I am extremely thankful for a lot of things that this past year has given me, which of course includes all of the superb music that soundtracked such a memorable 365 days. Below you will find the 15 artists and their respective albums that impacted me the most this year, each one an owner to certain months or even full seasons of 2018. These are the albums that surprised me. These are the albums that I listened and re-listened to more than any others this year. These are the standout albums of 2018 in my eyes. As always, my hope with this list is that you will discover some new artists you will come to love just as much as I do. Happy listening!

Honorable Mentions:

  • Twenty-One Pilots – Trench
  • The Voidz – Virtue
  • Father John Misty – God’s Favorite Customer
  • MGMT – Little Dark Age
  • Public Access T.V. – Street Safari

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Putting Tracks on the Map with Trish: Marco McKinnis

Marco McKinnis, a Hampton, Virginia-born R&B artist, has slowly risen in the musical sphere with his silky and soulful vocal range. He has featured in Rex Orange County’s renowned album Apricot Princess on “Nothing” and has collaborated with DJDS—duo DJs who have helped work on Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo—on the tracks “Trees on Fire” and “Falling” seen in Big Wave More Fire. These features exhibit his flexibility in different genres outside his affinity for R&B considering that Rex Orange County and DJDS are alternative and electronic musicians, respectively.

McKinnis’ six-track EP, Underground, is saturated with layered instrumentals ranging from synthesized keyboards to acoustic guitar solos. Hit songs “Silence” and “CPR” gained recognition for its down-to-earth lyricism and overall old school vibes. Although many of McKinnis’ songs are reminiscent of the works produced by Babyface, Jon B., D’Angelo, and Maxwell, they still have their own fresh approach to R&B, and are similar to contemporary artists Brent Faiyaz and Daniel Caesar.

“CPR” music video:

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Zakiya M. Cowan’s Probe of Contemporary Texts: The Power of the Close-Up and Color in The Hate U Give

the hate u give

Directed by George Tillman Jr., The Hate U Give is a film adaptation of the novel by Angie Thomas, a novel that rocked the world of contemporary young adult literature as it foregrounds the dark realities of police brutality and the ripple effect it can have on a community, and even a nation. The narrative follows Starr (played by actress Amandla Stenberg), a young black woman who witnesses the murder of her friend Khalil (played by actor Algee Smith) at the hands of a white police officer. From that point on, the audience witnesses Starr’s internal battle between wanting to remain silent in order to maintain a life of normalcy, or speak in honor of Khalil, and other black men that have fallen victim to these unjust crimes. As an audience, we are immersed into this complex narrative through the cinematographic moves of the close-up and color. Through the use close-up shots, and a varying color scheme, we are no longer allowed to be voyeurs, distantly observing  Starr’s hardships. Instead, we are forced to engage with the characters on screen, empathize with them, and face the issue of police brutality head on.

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Meet the Editors: Paulina Zougras

Paulina Zougras

Welcome to our final “Meet the Editors” post for this semester! Surprisingly, JFR only got only a few new editors, which means there are not many to introduce through the “Meet the Editors” series. This week’s highlighted editor is Paulina, who is taking the role of Art and Design Editor and Layout Editor.

Paulina is a junior at Lewis University where she is majoring in Graphic Design and minoring in Marketing. She graduated from Moraine Valley Community College with an Associates in Art. Some inspirational graphic designers she follows are Mike Perry, Shepard Fairey, as well as Aaron Draplin. She loves action movies and drinking lots of coffee. If she’s not studying or working her two jobs, she likes to watch design or makeup tutorials in her free time.

Below is our Q&A with Paulina: 
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Hateful Fates, A Mysterious Analysis



In more contemporary forms of mystery, other genres such as drama or horror are brought into the narrative to differ from sole mystery creations such as shows like, Elementary and Monk. This was completely evident during my viewing of The Hateful Eight, a 2015 film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. The film blends genre elements of westerns, dramas, and horror with mystery, establishing a unique aesthetic and atmosphere for the film. If my grandfather was still alive today, I’d love to know what his take on this film would be since it takes some influence from western films. I remember visiting my grandparents in their Chicago home and seeing my grandfather sitting on the blue living room couch, glass of gin and lime in hand as he watched  Westerns in black and white or grainy film; watched westerns where men wore cowboy hats and serious expressions and were never separated from their galloping horses. He’d love to see how the genre has been transformed today and furthermore has been combined with mystery, drama, and horror elements in Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight.

*Spoilers Ahead*

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Meet the Editors: Angela Ciarlette

Angela Ciarlette

Hello readers! We have geared into the new semester and are ready to bring back the Meet the Editors series for your enjoyment. Surprisingly, Jet Fuel Review has not received as many new editors as last semester, but it is still important to give a voice to the ones that have been recruited. It’s time to introduce the first new editor of this semester, an editor who is by no means a stranger to the literary. This week we are introducing Angela Ciarlette, Copy Editor; Fiction Editor.

Angela is a junior at Lewis University, and she is majoring in English with a concentration in writing.  She aspires to be a legal immigration document proofreader in the hopes of making the process of becoming a legal citizen quicker.  Exercising, reading, spending time outside, and spending time with her boyfriend are some of her favorite pastimes.  As far as her favorite authors and bands go, she does not favor any in particular; she simply reads what looks interesting and listens to what is appealing to her.

Below is our Q&A with Angela Ciarlette:

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