Gary Heidenreich(bop517)United States
Yep. Kevin, Timm, and I made the trip south to St. Louis for four games of gaming fun at the Geekway to the West. It was our first trip down and I think for Kevin and Timm, their first board game convention.
Got up early to hit the road on Thursday. We wanted to be on the road by 5am to get down there at a reasonable time like 11:30 or so. The alarm going off at 4:00am sorta sucked. No, let me rephrase that, it really sucked. But, a small price to pay. We rolled into the hotel about 1:00pm as we got stuck in some awful traffic just outside of St. Louis.
I tracked the games I played, but not closely, so I'm sure I'll miss some. The game playing was excellent, but even better was meeting new people, reconnecting with others I had met before and meeting some folk that I have chatted with on the Geek. That was the highlight of my trip. Plus, they had karaoke just outside the hotel at the pizza place.
The hotel was an outstanding choice for this. The hotel was nice but it was in the middle of this, for lack of a better phrase, entertainment area. Numerous restraunts/bars circled the hotel in a plaza like setting. No driving was needed to eat and drink at numerous different restraunts to cater to different tastes. The weather was awesome as well (I'm wearing my winter coat, again, today).
On Thursday, Kev, Timm and I didn't do a bunch of mingling and we played some Sheepshead, Chicago Express, with both expansions, and Fast Food Franchise. All three of us were utterly wiped by the end of that night.
Friday, we sort of broke apart and met and tried different games. I played a game of 20th Century with five and found I really enjoyed that game. It's on my short list to get now. Also got into the PitchCar and Battling Tops tournament. Both were a blast! It was the first time I shot on a track with the Stunt Track expansion. Cool! Learned how to play Mahjong and found I really enjoyed that one. It's a great conversational game. We also broke out Slappy Hands which I thought went over pretty well. Up until then, noone but myself and the other creators played it. It felt really good to have someone join in (Thanks Chester!) and someone take the game out of the game library and play a bunch of games. It's fun, silly, and I still have not failed to laugh my ass off playing it. Ooo, how could I forget Circus Train (First Edition). I got the scoring rules right this time and took out the additonal advanced rules I played with the first game and it went very smooth. Great game!
Saturday, amazingly, I did not play many games at all. I found that I enjoyed wandering the hall, watching games in progress and talking with various people. And that was good! But, I did play some games. Timm and I got SMOKED in the Crokinole tournament. Kudos to Kevin who made it to the final four (I think). Or finals? I'm not sure. I watched them take down the champs. Good stuff! I had also finally played Extrablatt and had a great time with a great game. Completely right up my alley. We all will remember Anja and her racy ad in my paper. Also, I got to play Lectio twice. Once I taught four new players (and got crushed) and then late on Saturday, Kevin, Timm, Scott Reed, and Chad Krizan played it for a dime a point. Yeah, my crap hands and subpar play continued and ended up losing alot more $$ than I expected. All five of us were experienced players, too. Gotta love the Bittery Nut.
Sunday, we didn't stick around to play any games and left mid-morning. But, when we reached Milwaukee, Kevin found out he won the beautiful Crokinole board that was for raffle at the Geekway. A great ending to a great weekend!