How Much Does a Geekway 2015 edition
Charles Hasegawa
United States
Chandler
Arizona
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A list of games and fun that I experienced at the 2015 Geekway event in St. Louis

This year's event was the largest and quite possibly the smoothest running event yet. They put a lot of work into pulling it off, and it shows.
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1. Board Game: Star Realms [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:87] [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked]
Charles Hasegawa
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Chandler
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I arrived on Wednesday after a long day of travel (Phoenix to Vegas to St. Louis - not ideal, but that side of the airfare was free). I got to the hotel about the same time as the Geekway library was coming in. After dropping of my stuff in the room, I helped build some shelves in the library. After, Mike Silbey and I started the Geekway with some Star Realms. We played three games and I only managed to win one. Glad I got in some-pre Geekway (official) gaming and always happy to play with Michael. After our games, I went back helped sort/stack games in the library and got checked in for the convention.

My take: I discovered Star Realms after the Geekway last year and have played the hell out of it since. I have most of the promos and expansions, and still play it a lot. I even have over 2000 online games played. I've been slowing down, but played a fair amount this weekend, so the game still entertains me.
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2. Board Game: Rise of Augustus [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:778]
Charles Hasegawa
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Chandler
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As part of registration, I got a free game, and this was the one. As games go, this is ok and my kids like it.

My take: This one is referred to as "Roman Bingo" which is a fairly apt description. There is more to it than that, but it does play a good number of people and there is enough to it to be more interesting than Bingo.
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3. Board Game: Sheriff of Nottingham [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:244]
Charles Hasegawa
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Chandler
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As the setup of everything was winding down, we grabbed something to play. This is just a little bluffing game, but this was new to me and I got to play with Jay Little, Mike Silbey and Robert Bolan, so we had a good time with it. Mike won 185 to Robert's 160, my 135, and Jay's 115.

My take: This is a negotiation/bluffing game, but unfortunately there isn't really any way to make a comeback. It is really about bluffing your opponents and making deals. Not horrible, but I'll skip needing it in my collection.
 
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4. Board Game: Imperial Settlers [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:130]
Charles Hasegawa
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Chandler
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Wednesday night, Jay Moore mentioned that they might need a hand in the morning getting a palette of games stacked before registration happened, so we let them know we'd be happy to help - we were up at six, showered and grabbed some coffee and grub. At 7:15-ish, we helped with the games and they were good to go.

I started the Geekway officially by teaching Robert Imperial Settlers from the play to win library. My Japanese won over his Barbarians.

My take: IS is basically a short little Civ/engine game where some of the things you can get are shared, and then each Civ has their own deck of stuff that makes playing each faction just different enough to be interesting.
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5. Board Game: String Railway [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:1917]
Charles Hasegawa
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Chandler
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After Imperial Settlers, we found Justin Heimburger and John Lindley playing a game and when they finished we started String Railway. Brandon Kempf arrived and joined us for the quick play. Robert kept getting abused and I won 38-37J-36J-32B-30R

My take: a quick little building game - almost a free form crayon rail game for lack of a better way to describe it. I may just try and get ahold of this one.
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6. Board Game: Yedo [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:453]
Charles Hasegawa
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Chandler
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We finished up and checked out the library to find something to play. We finally settled on Yedo, which is something I've wanted to try for a while now. We wandered downstairs and started working through the setup and rules and Justin showed up and joined us again - Justin won 35, Brandon 25, me 20, Robert 19

My take: Worker placement ala Lords of Waterdeep. Lots of mission cards to draw that score you points. The biggest difference (other than theme) is that there is a much higher level of interaction/dickitude. If you don't like conflict, stick with Waterdeep.
 
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7. Board Game: Star Realms [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:87] [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked]
Charles Hasegawa
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Chandler
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After Yedo, we ran into Silbey and Matt Dimmic looking for a game and decided to give 6-player Star Realms a shot Emperor style - Brandon, Justin, Mike Silbey vs me, Robert, and Matt Dimmic. We played three games with each player going against different players and each player getting to be the team's emperor. The bad guys won 2-1

My take. I liked this take on multiplayer SR and enjoyed playing with this group of friends as much as anything.
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8. Board Game: No Thanks! [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:391]
Charles Hasegawa
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Chandler
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While waiting for John Davis to arrive from the Omaha crew, I pulled this little gem out to play. Katie Philbrick wandered by, so I invited her to join us (Diane, Robert, Justin H, myself) and explained the rules. This being the first real hobby game that Diane had ever played, it probably wasn't too surprising that she won by a fair amount

My take: A short little push your luck game that seems to be well received by gamers and non-gamers alike.
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9. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:135]
Charles Hasegawa
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Chandler
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Once John had arrived I pulled out Ra for us to play. This is one of my favorite games that doesn't get played locally due to a friend of mine not liking it (she is wrong). After explaining the game we got to it and I managed a few decent early scores with a lead in pharaohs for most of the game. I also was scoring points with floods and not losing points for anything. In the last round, John had a free reign to draw two full boards. Thankfully I called him a "kitty" and he drew one tile too many. I beat John by a point (Diane 33, me 43, John 42, Justin 22, Robert 16).

My take: one of the best game from Knizia, this auction/push your luck game is one of my favorites all time. I'm always glad to play this especially with a full complement of players. Chanting for Ra tiles to come out when you are out of the bidding is required.
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10. Board Game: Takenoko [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:215]
Charles Hasegawa
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Chandler
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Diane begged off for some sleep, so we did a quick scan of the library for something short - John suggested this shorter one that I hadn't played before and he was happy to teach Robert and I. After losing by a point in the last game, John got his revenge and beats me by a point.

My take: This was a cute little family game that wasn't bad. I'd probably play a little better, but really there isn't so much here that you need to play a lot to do well.
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11. Board Game: Roll for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:60]
Charles Hasegawa
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Chandler
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Friday I woke up at 6, before my alarm went off and couldn't get back to sleep. Despite being tired and having only 5 hours of sleep, I just said screw it and got up. Eventually John Davis and Robert and I got together and started the day with this, which was just something to do before Pitchcar started. I checked this out from the library (it was also Play To Win, so it had that going for it). We were going over rules and random gamer Luis Teixeira walked by and asked to join. We got to playing and it was ok. Luis won and we finished up just in time to head over to Pitchcar.

My take: I don't love Race for The Galaxy, but it is ok. This felt faster, so I liked it a little better, and it did retain a lot of the same flavor. That doesn't make it great, but being faster makes it ok.
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12. Board Game: PitchCar [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:317]
Charles Hasegawa
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Chandler
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Every year, one of the events I look forward to the most is Pitchcar. I think I'm ok at it and to me, it is amazingly fun. This year, Joel (and co) set up 5 tracks and decided to mix things up. Entrants were given a sheet and the three tracks you'd be playing on. The racers in each race were varied as were the place you'd start in each race. This meant that the final top 8 finishers would most likely finish on top rather than an unlucky draw keeping some better players out of the race.

I had Chaddyboy in my first and second races and Brandon's Brother-In-Law Brad was also in two of my groups. I didn't know it until the first race got going, but I was pretty dang lucky to finish third in my first race. I knew that 3rd were not going to cut it and in the second race, I bore down and finished 2nd. In the last race, I was pretty sure I was hosed, especially when I realized that I had Joel and Brad in my heat. I also had to start last and got stuck behind another player. It was going pretty poorly until Joel caught me and was ready to lap me, I managed to get in his way and he pulled me (pushed me) along for a good ways and I made a mad finish to come back and finish 2nd.

My 7pts (3rd-2nd-2nd) were good enough to qualify 7th and keep me out of the three flick flick-off for the last spot (thank God, because I'm pretty sure I would not have even come close to where the two guys did in their flick-off). The finals would be later that day.

My take: Like I said, Pitchcar is a LOT OF FUN. There is a serious amount of creativity to creating fun tracks and the guys who build and play at the Geekway are true artists.
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13. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:372]
Charles Hasegawa
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Chandler
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After Pitchcar, we wandered up to the library to figure out our next game and I saw Christy and Marshall in the registration area. They mentioned being done soon and so I said we'd get something for when they were done. Unfortunately, Marshall had a King of Tokyo tourney to run, but Christy had no qualms about bailing on him and playing with us. We needed a filler to play while we waited for her, so John Davis suggested this (which up until now I had not played). He explained and we got down to bean trading. I made a late push and came close, but John's experience won out.

My take: a fairly straight forward card/negotiation/trade game. Hard to believe this is a Ewe game.
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14. Board Game: Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:315]
Charles Hasegawa
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Chandler
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We picked out Euphoria, which we figured wouldn't be too much to overwhelm the new player (Diane). John and Robert had only played once or twice before, so it seemed like a good choice. We got setup and I went over the rules while we waited for Christy. Once she arrived, we jumped in and started putting our dystopian workers to work. About halfway through the game, a storm hit and disrupted power for about a minute. It also started leaking into the library and Christy got called away. Then shortly after she got back, Diane had to take a work call. Despite the distractions, we jumped right back into the game, and Christy came away with a convincing win.

My take: This is a great worker placement game. It oozes theme and makes clever use of dice as the workers. It was a great sophomore entry by Stonemeier Games. After playing Viticulture a few years ago, I was more than happy to Kickstart this game without knowing anything about it - I'm really glad I did as I got a great game (with deluxe bits).
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15. Board Game: Martian Dice [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:1855]
Charles Hasegawa
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Chandler
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I didn't have long until the Pitchcar finals, so we grabbed a really short filler to play. Sadly, it wasn't short enough and I didn't play more than a couple rounds before having to run off.
 
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Charles Hasegawa
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Last year after the Geekway, the big three (Chad, Chad and Joel) started "riffing" off each other designing crazy assed features - a number of which made the finals track this year. They spent HOURS building it. The track started with a double hill which lead to a slot drop, followed by the "conception" feature (which you arrived at from a ramp). After some crazy curves, you had another jump towards a long straight. At the end of the long straight, you had the Salmon Run (see the list for the features). This one had some interesting results and was one of my favorite features on this track. After the Salmon run, you had a long string and curve into another hill and ramp into a large landing area which curved back 180 and came back under the hill and ramp you were just on and came to the most difficult feature of the track - the flickups. This one caught a lot of the guys and really separated the pack. After a curve and slide down a hill, you got to repeat the whole process.

As fun as it was, it was some crazy-assed stuff and the first two laps each took about an HOUR. I suspect that next year won't be as hard, but looking back on it, it was still fun.
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17. Board Game: Battling Tops [Average Rating:6.12 Overall Rank:5158]
Charles Hasegawa
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Chandler
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Next up was the annual Battling Tops Tourney. I have a top named after me (Prince Charles) which I've used for the last two years. This one takes a lot more skill than any other at the Geekway and devastates a wide swath of voices for the rest of the convention. I quickly won three games to make the finals, but was destroyed (literally) in the first round of the finals (one match saw all three of the other tops in the arena fly out a half second after we pulled the strings - two of us lost our top heads for a minute).

Thankfully, a lot of us didn't care too much because we were drinking a lot of:
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18. Board Game: The Awful Green Things From Outer Space: The Obnoxious Orange Things From Another Place [Average Rating:7.64 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.64 Unranked]
Charles Hasegawa
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Chandler
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This was awesome. Not a game, but I made homemade Orangecello this year (about 100 proof). I didn't distill anything, but I did flavor the booze myself from the orange tree in my back yard. I drank waaaaaayyyyyy too much of it myself and gave out lots more. I only had about 1.5l of it, but it was gone shortly after Battling Tops.
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19. Board Game: Princes of the Renaissance [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:598]
Charles Hasegawa
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Chandler
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After getting VERY lubed up, it was time for our annual game of Princes. Chester, Joel, DJ, Mike, and I were joined by Diane (there was some minor concern about possibly offending her, but she's always been plenty capable of hanging with the guys, so I wasn't worried in the least). I however, was pretty drunk. I apologized to Chester and hopefully won't be quite that gone next year, but despite my handicapping myself, I WON THE GAME - BY A LOT. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

My take: Princes is one of Martin Wallace's best games (from early on to his current crop). I really wish it would get reprinted as it really is a great game. I think it is really best with 6 and its rarity means I'll probably only play it at the Geekway, which is fine.
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20. Board Game: Risk Legacy [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:236]
Charles Hasegawa
United States
Chandler
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After Princes, we settled in for chapter 2 of our 15 year commitment to Risk Legacy. Apparently, Mike still REALLY wanted to open the envelope that gets opened when you eliminate a player and it was probably no more than 5 turns in when I was devastated by Mike. It was pretty late and I was fairly tired, so I did my best to turn into a pumpkin and disappeared.
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21. Board Game: Crokinole [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:76]
Charles Hasegawa
United States
Chandler
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Saturday wasn't going to end up well for me. Robert had apparently drank wayyyyyyyy too much the night before and I had stayed up until 5, then woke up at 9 and couldn't fall back asleep. At that point, I wasn't sure if I was still buzzed (maybe) or just exhausted (likely), but I found Robert and he let me know we were in the Crokinold tourney and needed to find out opponent and play. I just about fell asleep waiting, but eventually we found our first two matches and found our groove and won both - putting us in the semis. I eventually headed off for a nap and then after the evening prize drawings, we had our semi-finals match against the eventual champions (we lost horribly mostly due to sucking a lot, but also because they were good).
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22. Board Game: PIX [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:2456]
Charles Hasegawa
United States
Chandler
Arizona
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After another nap I wandered around looking for a game and I eventually ran into the Omaha crew and played some Pix with them before our annual Liar's Dice game. We played a couple times but I think we were all so bad at it that some of the fun just wasn't quite what we thought it would be.
 
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23. Board Game: Liar's Dice [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:569]
Charles Hasegawa
United States
Chandler
Arizona
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We headed over to the new room by the bar and bashed out some Liar's Dice. John kept getting exact calls and screwing me (I had 5 dice for a good while until he whittled me down by forcing everyone down). I believe it ended with him and Jessica going head to head and Jessica winning (I was pretty tired, so I don't recall for sure).
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24. Board Game: Monkey Madness [Average Rating:5.36 Overall Rank:13555]
Charles Hasegawa
United States
Chandler
Arizona
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Sunday morning started with a breakfast burrito and I wandered into the tourney room and got roped into the Monkey Madness tourney. I didn't win, but Robert (who was with me) made the final and failed.

My take: this might be less of a game than LCR. I'm just saying.
 
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25. Board Game: Parade [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:690]
Charles Hasegawa
United States
Chandler
Arizona
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Justin Heimburger and his two daughters found us and after I finished my burrito, I taught them all Parade. Justin's kids picked it right up and we all had fun.In the end I had to invoke the words nobody expects to hear: Robert wins.

My take: Parade is a little game where you try not to take too many points, or just enough of stuff to reduce their value for you. It is a clever little game and this edition is the cool Alice in Wonderland art version that I really like.
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