Geekway 2015 Games Played
Matthew Carlyle
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
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My second Geekway to the West has come and gone, with lots of games played and memories created. I played mostly with people I regularly game with, but those people are the same ones who have made me feel welcome both in our local group and at Geekway last year, a gift I can never be grateful enough for. Most games were ones I have played before, and for some quite often, but it's not always about what we play, rather always about who we play with.

Want to also express my gratitude to all volunteers and organizers. Attendance was a sell-out at 1300, yet through hard work and planning, the accomodations were better than they were last year with less people. From my perspective, things seemed to run very smoothly, and that could not have happened without their efforts.

Let's get to the games...
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1. Board Game: Five Tribes [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:52]
Matthew Carlyle
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
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A good start to Geekway with Craig and Jon. We snagged one of the well-crafted gaming tables, and then Jon and I watched Craig snag almost two full sets of goods cards and run away with victory. Two great people to start Geekway with, even if it's with a game I find myself enjoying a bit less each time I play. I'm anxious for the expansion to come along.
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2. Board Game: Taj Mahal [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:309]
Matthew Carlyle
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
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My first new game of the con, played with Jon, Jason, and a welcome addition to the group, even if he was from Chicago, Chris. Took me a bit to get the full grasp of how to manipulate the cards in this one, leaving me far behind through the first few rounds, but a rousing comeback left me in the last place when it all wrapped-up. Not my finest showing, but a fine group indeed.
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3. Board Game: Lanterns: The Harvest Festival [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:571]
Matthew Carlyle
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
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My first game from the Play & Win collection. I had intended to try about ten of these games going into the weekend, including some that I will rarely, if ever, see at our Meet-ups. This one saw me sitting down with the Stone Spiral Crew for the first of many games this weekend, the same group who welcomed me last year and gave me a group I could always turn to for gaming at the con. So thanks to everyone for a great weekend!
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4. Board Game: Scoville [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:517]
Matthew Carlyle
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
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Another P&W, another with the Stone Spiral Crew. John, Jyoti, Rebecca, and I sat in the P&W room, a nice addition to this year's con. Tried to stick to a "small" strategy, letting the other three fight over more coveted spots in the fields. It failed. Miserably. But a game that allows you to be a bit cutthroat is always a welcome game to me, even if it is literally a recipe-filler.
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5. Board Game: Istanbul [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:91]
Matthew Carlyle
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
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A close, close game between the same group, with Jyoti pulling a victory through tie-break. Seems every game of this lately is ending with the tie-break deciding it. Alas, dice rolls were my boon and my bane, giving me an early lead, but denying me a victory.
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6. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:29]
Matthew Carlyle
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
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Originally wasn't going to join this one, but changed my mind, jumped in for a five player game with Nicholas joining as well. Couldn't get a copy of the deluxe edition, which I've really been wanting to check out, so played the German map. And, it was in the throes of fuel purchasing and city utility that a heated rivalry was kindled, vitriol spilled, and blood raised. Only playfully, of course, but, Rebecca, it shall not be forgotten. And it wasn't for the whole weekend, a little metagaming rivalry that shall continue. Oh, and I think Nicholas won, but that was second to the rivalry being awakened.
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7. Board Game: Fauna [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:659] [Average Rating:7.06 Unranked]
Matthew Carlyle
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
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A Friedemann Friese kick led us to Fauna, a lighter game after the calculations of Power Grid. Rebecca's friend joined in with us, and the capybara, the world's largest rodent in case you didn't know, led me to a come from behind victory over, you guessed it, Rebecca.
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8. Board Game: Concordia [Average Rating:8.07 Overall Rank:22]
Matthew Carlyle
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
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The first day of Geekway wrapped up with me teaching Concordia to four others, including Tony who joined us for a chance to stay up late, thinking hard, before having to get up early for work on Friday. Played slow, as there were five of us total, but Nicholas, unsurprisingly, took a shine to it. This is a great game from Mac Gerdts, and was a fitting winner of the Kennerspiel last year. I was pleased at the end of the weekend to see Marge win a P&W copy, adding yet another one to the Meet-up group's collection (she got 7 plays in over the weekend!). This will see many additional plays in the future, no doubt.
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9. Board Game: Red7 [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:545]
Matthew Carlyle
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
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Day 2 started with a little Red7 with Mark and Mike P. A great filler that has seen lots of plays, including two to start this Friday of games. Played basic rules, then added the drawing variant into the mix. Given all of the plays of this over the past couple of months, I still haven't played all the advanced rules. Eventually I'll make use of those icons on the corner of the cards...
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10. Board Game: Tajemnicze Domostwo [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:410]
Matthew Carlyle
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
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Easily the game of the con, judging by how often this was getting played- over 250 entries in the P&W! This game saw John as the ghost, and even being hindered by a misreading of the rules where he only gave us one card per round, we still managed to identify the murderer, the French police officer. This game really impressed everyone I talked to, including a lot of people I would not have expected to enjoy it. I'm not in a hurry to overplay this, but as a semi-regular activity, it is really a fun time, a great chance to see how people think. I can't wait to be the ghost!
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11. Board Game: Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:2409]
Matthew Carlyle
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
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What a great thematic game! Complete with tagging in and out, championship belts, and a ring, this dice chucker hit a sweet spot. Thanks to Charlie for teaching it, even though his ladies team did beat us hulking men in the first match. Rematch saw our team vanquish those little ladies, and we left it a 1-1 draw.
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12. Board Game: Machi Koro [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:741]
Matthew Carlyle
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
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Celina and I introduced this to Rebecca, so of course I took a red card strategy to continue our rivalry. The P&W copies did not include the expansion, and we taught it with the standard rules. Such a different game when that's the case. In the second game, we added the variable set-up, which changes things in such a good way. That set-up and the expansion may add a decent amount of time to the game, but it's definitely for the better. It may be Settlers-lite, but I'd play it any time over Catan.
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13. Board Game: Biblios [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:290]
Matthew Carlyle
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
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I got this as my free game for attending the con. I had been hoping for a few, and was lucky this was one. It's such a good game, split into two unique phases. John and Jyoti taught it, and we got a second game with Adam who also got this as his free game. I'm really pleased with this one.
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14. Board Game: Camel Up [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:381]
Matthew Carlyle
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
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After our game of Biblios, the four of us sat down and learned this light betting game. Quick, simple, and almost completely random, this game is what it is. Not sure I think it should have beat out Splendor for Spiel, but it is still pleasing with some decent choices to make each leg of the race.
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15. Board Game: Red7 [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:545]
Matthew Carlyle
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
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This came out again for two more plays with John and Jyoti at some point on Friday before dinner. Nothing more to add, still a pleasant way to spend five to ten minutes.
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16. Board Game: Panamax [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:466]
Matthew Carlyle
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
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Hardest game to digest at the con. This was one of the P&W I really wanted to get in at Geekway, as I knew no one who owned it and saw no other way to get it played. Nicholas took the time to read the rules (while playing another game by the way!), and after dinner, he, John, Rebecca, and I sat down to play. Rebecca and I actually helped each other get our goods through the Canal. Once. I don't know what to think of this one. It didn't make a good first impression, similar to Stronghold's other two heavies I've played, CO2 and Kanban. It was punishing, difficult, and seemingly unnecessarily complex. However, I'm worried I was missing some of the strategic nuances, so I'd give it one more try to see how it plays out. Considering this was the only one of the rare (for our group) and difficult/long P&W games I got to play, this was my biggest disappointment for the weekend. Hopefully in the future I'll get some of the ones I missed to the table- Fief especially.
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17. Board Game: Hansa Teutonica [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:108]
Matthew Carlyle
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
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Saturday was my short day at the con. Started the day volunteering in the library, which was a very pleasant experience, meeting people and hearing their opinions on games. After the shift, I ran into Chicago Chris playing with some other locals. He seemed to meet a lot of the local gamers, and everyone enjoyed gaming with him. So he, Ben, Amanda, Tony, and I got in a game of HT, which, since Craig first taught me about a month ago, has become one of my absolute favorites. Deep but not difficult, while giving chances to be cutthroat, I can't see this going out of the rotation for a long time, if ever. Now I need to get it to the table with Rebecca, because it'll feed that rivalry some strong fuel.
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18. Board Game: Lanterns: The Harvest Festival [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:571]
Matthew Carlyle
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
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A second time for this P&W, with Matt, Patrick, Rebecca, and I. Still was a pleasant game, and second time through saw more manipulation of lantern allocation, trying to deny others (i.e.: Rebecca) what I could. A close, close game, with Matt squeaking out a victory by tie-break. I could see this getting a lot of buys this year, and seeing a lot of table time.
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19. Board Game: Tokaido [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:436]
Matthew Carlyle
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
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Looking for a simple, relaxing game, I suggested Tokaido, which I've been wanting to play again since watching it on TableTop recently. As pretty as this game is, once a year is about the most it's worth playing. Too much of this game is on rails, with too few tough decisions to make. It didn't even bring out the rivalry with Rebecca at all, which, in a game where you can deny locations to each other, tells you how much it can induce serenity. And boredom.
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20. Board Game: Biblios [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:290]
Matthew Carlyle
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
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After being thoroughly impressed with this on Friday, I taught it to Becky, Dan, and Rebecca before my Saturday at Geekway ended. Can't say enough about how pleased I am to have gotten this game.
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21. Board Game: Skull [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:440]
Matthew Carlyle
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
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Though not played at Geekway, I did get three games played at my friends' house Saturday night for our regular weekend gaming sessions. I've come to live for these regular sessions, and the metagaming that has grown around Skull is one of the biggest reasons. We use it regularly to introduce new gamers to the table, and it always goes over well. Always. One of the best, without a doubt.
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22. Board Game: Parade [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:687]
Matthew Carlyle
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
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Second of the three games played at my friends' house. I introduced this to them several weeks ago, as they are big fans of Guillotine, and this has gone over pretty well too. Parade comes out at most Meetups as a good gateway game, but it stays out even with people who have played it several times. Not many better compliments can be given to a game than that.
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23. Board Game: Sheriff of Nottingham [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:244]
Matthew Carlyle
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
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The last game played Saturday night with the friends, it's not surprising that a group which enjoys Skull also enjoys Sheriff. We actually played six, with each person being the sheriff once, and it worked well. We don't time our negotiations, so it can drag at times, but with the looks and accusations this game generates, it's rarely anything but fun.
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24. Board Game: Witness [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:666]
Matthew Carlyle
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
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Sunday at Geekway is always bittersweet. You remember the great times of the weekend, while knowing it's about to end. So I tried to find the people I most enjoy being around, and today it started with Craig and Jon again. After seeing this on Shut Up & Sit Down, Craig picked up this game recently, and we worked two cases successfully. May be best described as an evolution of the telephone game, I'm not sure this is a big hit for me. I'd certainly play again, if just for the laughs that come from knowing the screw-ups involved, like when Jon tells me my own information, completely incorrect! But hey, we still nabbed our bank robber.
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25. Board Game: Il Vecchio [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:1233]
Matthew Carlyle
United States
Saint Louis
Missouri
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Jon brings this game to so many Meetups, and everytime, or near enough, it stays in the box. My copy gathers dust under my bed, not even making it to the game shelf. Such disservice to a solid game, and one I would expect gets better the more familiar you are with the various tokens you get by visiting the outlying cities and Florence. Anytime he wants to bring it out again, I'd join in. Heck, maybe I'll bring my own copy around sometime soon.
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