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Thinking Out Loud

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Geekway to the West - Day 2 - The Gaming

Wow. What a day. Folks started showing up around 8:30 AM, and stayed until 2:30 AM or so... Over the course of the day, the following BGG geeks were able to attend: alfredhw, armadi, astroglide, cbdarden, chaddyboy_2000, cornjob, DeiTass, hibikir, jpact, mrb88, MUKid, Ron Stuckel, spacerx, topdecker, yayforme and myself -- ynnen. My friend Phil, who's not currently a BGG member (heresy?) also attended. I have a feeling like I must be missing one or two folks, but I'm still a bit frazzled.

A few heavy hitting games started early while players were still straggling in. The biggest sluggers for the event were die Macher, Age of Steam and Struggle of Empires. While these games were going on, most of the others mixed it up with a variety of light- to medium- weight games to rotate through as many games and groups of players as possible.

Playing host as well as fellow gamer, I stuck to mostly quick games so I could greet folks as they arrived, work out gaming logistics, restock the fridges, and generally let my ENFJ personality loose. I ended up getting 20+ games played on Saturday, though, despite the host hopping -- that's what happens when you play a lot of For Sale and Monkey Madness! And the attendees were very gracious and supportive, allowing me to pimp -- er, playtest -- a few of my prototypes. The general response to the prototypes, especially for Defender of the Realm and Go Away Gremlins, was very positive, and I'm feeling more confident than ever that they'll go over well at GenCon.

I actually won a surprising number of games, given the breadth of both players and games played. I'm usually content to win 10-15% of the games I play, but I had a very good weekend. My lucky weekend included wins of a very close game of El Grande, a runaway win in Traumfabrik, and wins at Ingenious, Corsari, a few hands of For Sale and more than my share of prototypes.

I also got to play my first game of Werewolf, which was a real treat. Extra thanks go out to cbdarden for moderating the game and teaching everyone how to play. It was quite an accomplishment to get everyone together to play one massive game of Werewolf after lunch -- I'm pretty sure 15 or 16 of us were able to participate. It was a lot of fun, and afterward, cornjob mentioned how great it would have been if we had been able to tape our conversations and post them, as some of the commentary and accusations were hilarious.

But the big hit of the weekend? IT had to be, hands down, Reiner Knizia's oft-overlooked masterpiece, Monkey Madness. The game has it all -- red monkeys, blue monkeys, yellow monkeys and, of course, green monkeys. We probably got more games of Monkey Madness in than any other game, and everyone was eager to get home and log those games played as quickly as possible, as you can imagine.

Here's my final games played tally for the weekend, Friday night and Saturday combined:

  • Unpublished Prototype x7
  • For Sale x6
  • Monkey Madness x3
  • Carabande x2
  • Werewolf x2
  • Ingenious x1
  • Traumfabrik x1
  • Pueblo x1
  • Corsari x1
  • El Grande x1
  • Tutanchamun x1
  • Um Reifenbreite x1
  • Phoenix x1
  • Formula Dé x1
The weekend was a smashing success. I had a great time meeting so many wonderful Geeks, getting a lot of games in, and sitting around talking about games, sharing anecdotes, and praising BoardGameGeek for making this all possible.

That last point should not be overlooked -- coordinating this event would simply have been impossible without BGG... Not only were we able to promote our gathering to attract some players who otherwise wouldn't have been able to attend, it facilitated planning and logistics, but most importantly provided the means to get in touch with so many great people in the first place. Kudos to Derk, Aldie and all the admins of BoardGameGeek.com! While you weren't there in person, you were there in spirit. All your hard work made it possible for all of us to get together -- so here's a toast to the time and effort you put into the site!

Thanks to Tim Kilgore (Topdecker) for taking some snaps of the Geekway event. Here's a group shot shortly after lunch. Conspicuously missing are Phil, DeiTass, mrb88 and spacerx... The Geeks in the photo, from left to right, are: Giant Robot/Ron Stuckel, MUKid/Jay Moore, JPact/Jim Paprocki, Chaddyboy_2000/Chad Krizan, Ynnen/Jay Little, Cornjob/Chester Ogborn, Armadi/Michael Silbey, Astroglide/Justin H, Alfredhw/Alfred Wallace, Hibikir/Jorge Montero, Cbdarden/Chris Darden, Yayforme/Trey Dembski and Topdecker/Tim Kilgore.

A few notes about the photo. First, I am not that short. I just look short because I'm in my kung fu action pose, with an ultra-cool Fonzie-esque double-thumb's up. It didn't work quite as planned. I'm actually 5'10" but the photo makes me look about 5'2" ... And I have no idea why Jorge looks like he's posing while a bronze bust of his likeness is being cast.


  • Thanks for having us over! I had a blast and I am already hoping that this will happen again.


    By Blogger Topdecker, at 10:34 AM  

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