Geekway To The West 2015 - What Dreams Are Made Of
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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"Tons of Geekway Geeklists, you should make a list."
"Pfft, ain't nobody got time for that."
"Do it."

This is me capitulating to my undulating conscious crashing like waves against my frail inhibition.

Anyway, Geekway was awesome.
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1. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:31]
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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This was a four player game scheduled for 8:30 Thursday morning. How do you kick off Geekway in style? With an in your face aggressive game of Eclipse.

This was four player with:

Shawn Charney
United States
Saint Louis
MO
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Don Schisler
United States
Missouri
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and another guy who I believe has a BGG account but I don't know it.

I was Orion Hegemony and was doing pretty well, picking up Antimatter cannons and grabbing improved hull just in time to grab the middle hex early mid-game. I would hold the middle hex the entirety of the game in a threatening manner, and didn't even lose one of my hexes by end game, but I lost by 2 as I was unable to take another player's home sector on the final round (I hate you six-sided cubes).

Funny story - in the middle of this game a guy came up to me holding a copy of A Fistful Of Dinero. I knew the tournament was starting soon so I thought maybe my buddy Aaron sent him over to hand me a copy for some reason (that doesn't really make sense but I was mentally Eclipse'n at that point). So I looked a little confused when he handed it to me, not realizing he wanted me to autograph the game. My buddy's at the table promptly made fun of me and pointed out that I must not do that often. Thanks for making my day nameless guy who wanted my autograph. My wife didn't believe me.

Also - we played this game on a lovely boardgametables.com table and found it to be very nice. The table without a recessed center fit a four player game of Eclipse pretty well. We did have to keep the box and ship part plano off the table though.
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2. Board Game: Fief: France 1429 [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:758]
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Half the first day already gone (in splendid manner) and we had to rush to lunch to get back for a 1PM scheduled game of Fief where I was going to teach:

aaron belmer
United States
Webster Groves
St Louis
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among a few others (I can't find your username Jason!)

My main gaming buddy,
Evil Ben
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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was there and helping teach/dominate.

This was a weird one as the five player game only lasted about an hour. On turn 2ish Ben and Aaron had married up and were allied, forming a nice wall holding the Eastern side of the board. Their marriage would be short lived as Plague hit Aaron's Bishopric hard, killing off both of his nobles ("Welcome to Fief, Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter"). On the next turn Ben continued to dominate, getting a second Fiefdom established. I bribed my way into marrying him by offering to Cardinal him up so that we could elect a King and win the game. Very strange game and a weird introduction but I enjoyed it.
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3. Board Game: Greed [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1386]
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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After Fief I wasn't too interested in Aquasphere (plus there wasn't enough room for all of us) so Ben and myself wandered looking for another player so we could try out Greed, a game I picked up a couple weeks prior for a cool $15.

We found another guy I knew whose BGG ID I can't seem to locate now. I was surprised how good this little game is, offering the satisfaction of engine building/combos that 7 Wonders gives you in a fraction of the time without obfuscating all of those different sets/symbols/resources. Less work and more payoff with a much better theme. I went on to play this 5 total times over the course of the convention and really enjoy it. A review will be incoming in the near future.

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4. Board Game: VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:1398]
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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The guy who was kind of enough to play Greed with us pulled this one out. I had to leave soon and we needed something short so this was the ticket.

I enjoyed my play although this isn't the type of dice game I typically gravitate towards. It was a light yet slightly thinky game with the right amount of decision points for its weight. Still, I usually prefer more bravado and brinksmanship in a dice game and would probably rather pull out Luchador! or King of Tokyo. Fine game though.
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5. Board Game: Sons of Anarchy: Men of Mayhem [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:711]
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Day two saw us kick it off with a game of SoA at 8:30 in the morning. That didn't stop us from dicking each other over though and I was massively backstabbed in the mid game which knocked me down pretty hard. SAMCRO actually took this one due to us neglecting to stop him from exploiting a solid location. We were too busy fighting and arguing to heed his victory. Love this game every time I get it to the table.
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6. Board Game: Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:2408]
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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We hit up some more Greed before introducing two newbies to Luchador! via tag match. Excellent as always with my partner and I winning the first match and our opponents the second. Bam Bam En Fuego kicked the crap out of us in that second game.
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7. Board Game: Merchants & Marauders [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:201]
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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We ran into
Isaac Childres
United States
Indiana
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talking near the vendor area and roped him into Merchants and Marauders. He had never played before but we subjected him to the excellent new Seas of Glory expansion. I would have held back but I'm scheduled to review it soon so he bit the bullet. No worry though because he jumped out to a huge lead. My buddy and I both came back and I almost won in the final round but couldn't scout a Merchant to save my life, and then let it escape despite crazy odds in my favor. Well done Isaac.
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8. Board Game: Bling Bling Gemstone [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:2935]
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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This actually occurred before the M&M game and was my first time playing it. I was familiar with Click Clack Lumberjack and a big fan. This of course, is the same thing but even more interesting. We had one game where we kept 5 core pieces still standing at the end, removing all of the gems.
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9. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:2204]
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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I showed a few buddies my prototype that is closest to being publisher ready, a fast paced Fantasy game where players attempt to scale a large spire while tearing at each others limbs and avoiding the natural hazards. I think they dug it and I realized a couple of minor tweaks on card language so that was good.
 
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10. Board Game: News@11 [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:8641]
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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I have known
Raf Cordero
United States
Bolingbrook
Illinois
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for almost a year now due to being a part of the same GCL (Mafia division). We planned to meetup and I wasn't exactly sure what to expect but he turned out to be an amazing guy and very fun to hang out. Additionally,
The Chaz
United States
Arkansas
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joined in. I met Chaz last year at Geekway and he played in my legendary Two Rooms and a Boom event. I've also chatted with him briefly on reddit. Awesome dude that I'd love to hang out with more.

We dove right into John Gilmour's prototype for News @ 11 that Raf is playtesting. I signed an NDA ("Hey nice to meet you Raf", "What up? Sign this shit, please") so I can't talk about it. It's very good though, we were laughing and I didn't want to go home but it was 1AM.

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11. Board Game: The Resistance [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:178]
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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At this point I'm dying on Saturday morning. I had about 4 hours of sleep the night before due to being too hopped up on gaming and my 18 month old waking me up at 6:30. We had a redditor meetup to play Resistance with the new expansions at 9AM organized by my British man
Timothy Hunt
United States
St Louis
Missouri
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Raf Cordero
United States
Bolingbrook
Illinois
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The Chaz
United States
Arkansas
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and
Marcus Whitman
United States
Missouri
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all participated who I know and enjoy gaming with. It was a 10 player game that was kind of crazy and I got dicked over by an excellent resistance reverser play. Fun times.
 
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12. Board Game: Cave Evil [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:2130] [Average Rating:7.90 Unranked]
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Raf Cordero
United States
Bolingbrook
Illinois
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and
Evil Ben
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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and I descended into unholy darkness, clawed our way through mud and rock, and devoured the lost souls of ancient races and felled beasts of nightmare. Raf proved worthy of the eternal pit, casting our warbands aside in favor of a rotten statues extracted eyeballs.

I want to marry this game.
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13. Board Game: Shiv [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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After Cave Evil we introduced Raf to Greed and then
Evil Ben
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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and I made our way to the microgame design competition run by BGG's
Chaddyboy
United States
Olathe
Kansas
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, who was gracious to give up his time to be there.

With some hard component limits on the competition and my general lack of interest in microgames I almost didn't enter. When I had an idea about a small game focused on gang violence in a prison my excitement took over.

I cleared that it would be ok before the competition began and received quite a bit of votes in the polls (ok, I may know a lot of people on here and FAT but lets ignore that and pretend it was on the game's merits alone). One thing I didn't realize is that there would be middle schoolers there helping playtest which made for a couple of awkward moments, particularly when a family rotated to my table to playtest.

Still, I had a couple of very good groups and
Zev Shlasinger
United States
Naples
Florida
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was a judge who started out at my table that seemed to be having a good time. I didn't win, of course, and the game that did win - Smoking Gun - looked excellent and definitely deserved it. What did happen was that a publisher had volunteered to playtest (not judge) and ended up playing Shiv and having a hell of a time. Prospects look good and Shiv may have a future (as a slightly larger, non-micro card game).

Thanks to Chad, Zev, Jay Little, and everyone else who judged/playtested.
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14. Board Game: Hyperborea [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:519]
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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This was all about teaching
Raf Cordero
United States
Bolingbrook
Illinois
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who had been wanting to learn. Isaac Childres hung out with us yet again and ended up kicking our rears. Great game though and had a good time.
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15. Board Game: Homeland: The Game [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:2074]
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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It was 11PM and my body hated me. But, I can't turn down Homeland and Chaz wanted to learn. It was a good game that I sat back and didn't talk much due to fatigue, Raf took over though and led us to victory. I was able to sneakily amass a large amount of points though and took the game.
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16. Board Game: Two Rooms and a Boom [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:750]
Charlie Theel
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Finally the last day of the con. I played a couple of little dexterity games and learned the excellent Ghost Blitz, but this day was all about 2R1B. I decided earlier in the year I wasn't going to run this again due to the work required in getting enough people and the difficulty I had the year before in getting Geekway to give me space. I had too much going on this year and just said screw it.

A couple buddies goaded me into running it and I'm glad I did.
Timothy Hunt
United States
St Louis
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,
Raf Cordero
United States
Bolingbrook
Illinois
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,
The Chaz
United States
Arkansas
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Evil Ben
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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, and
aaron belmer
United States
Webster Groves
St Louis
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were all there. Fantastic set of games and maybe my most memorable moments of the con. I was so tired though I was forgetting what roles did what in a couple of the games. Best game was when we had like 8 grey roles in a 22 player game. Crazy times.
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