My Geekway to the West 2018 Experience
Sean Franco
United States
Columbia
Missouri
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Geekway to the West is the one con I go to each year, and this year was fantastic. I played 18 different games a total of 60 times over 5 days. Not a bad average!
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1. Board Game: Suspend [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:3559]
Board Game: Suspend
Sean Franco
United States
Columbia
Missouri
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Wednesday

Although Geekway doesn't start until Thursday, the lobby of the Embassy Suites hotel (connected to the St. Charles Convention Center, where the con is held) was already packed with gamers playing games by Wednesday afternoon. Rebecca (my roommate this trip) and Eric decided to start of light with some Suspend, one of the Play and Win titles this year which I had happened to have brought a copy of. We would play it several times more later this night, introducing it to Timothy and Karen, and we would play it a few more times with Timothy and Karen on Thursday.

Total plays: 8
 
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2. Board Game: Welcome to Centerville [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:2707]
Board Game: Welcome to Centerville
Sean Franco
United States
Columbia
Missouri
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Wanting something slightly more involved, we jumped into Welcome to Centerville. I'm not a big fan of dice games, but I've liked this one from the start. This was the only game all con that I played where no one needed to be taught the rules.

Total plays: 1
 
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3. Board Game: Letter Tycoon [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:2144]
Board Game: Letter Tycoon
Sean Franco
United States
Columbia
Missouri
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Timothy and Karen arrived during Centerville, so we looked for a good five-player game. Letetr Tycoon was what was on hand. We had some amusing words get challenged, but a generally standard session for this game.

Total plays: 1
 
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From gallery of logopolys
Sean Franco
United States
Columbia
Missouri
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Thursday

I started the con proper with four hours of Geek Guide volunteering in the Play and Win library. This was a great way to see what titles would be popular this year, and I got to see a lot of great people that I knew only from Geekway cycle through to check out games.
 
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5. Board Game: Runewars [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:218]
Board Game: Runewars
Sean Franco
United States
Columbia
Missouri
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My first scheduled game of the con was Runewars! I taught two new players (including Jim), plus one other experienced player. The game was a blast, ending with a year three victory from me, using a single Beserker as a diplomat to win!

Saturday night, Jim messaged me, wanting to play again. I taught two more new players, and we had a great time with our late night session. Jim is a fast learner, since he got a year four victory this time with the zombies.

Total plays: 2
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6. Board Game: Photosynthesis [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:408]
Board Game: Photosynthesis
Sean Franco
United States
Columbia
Missouri
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I moved on to a Play and Win, Photosynthesis. I'd played a few times before, so I taught Eric and Amanda. Lots of fun still. Plus, the blue board has a bear. I credit the bear with my victory.

Total plays: 1
 
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7. Board Game: Zendo [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:812]
Board Game: Zendo
Sean Franco
United States
Columbia
Missouri
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After some games of Suspend with Rebecca, Timothy, and Karen, we started an extended session of Zendo, apparently one of Timothy's favorite games. I had not played before, but it was fantastic. I think I'm going to have to get a copy now (dagnabbit!).

I told Timothy I'd play again before the end of the con, so we squeezed a couple more games in on Sunday afternoon.

Total plays: 12
 
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8. Board Game: Drop It [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:1385]
Board Game: Drop It
Sean Franco
United States
Columbia
Missouri
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It was getting late, so I found one of the lighter games in the Play and Win library. Rebecca, some stranger, and I sat down to learn this simple game of dropping shapes into a screen. Drop It was tricky but light, just like I had wanted.

Total plays: 1
 
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9. Board Game: Dungeon Twister [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:965]
Board Game: Dungeon Twister
Sean Franco
United States
Columbia
Missouri
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Friday

Started out with my favorite two-player game, Dungeon Twister. I had scheduled a teaching game, which went well. I need to play this more than once a year!

Total plays: 1
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10. Board Game: Star Trek: Ascendancy [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:553] [Average Rating:7.81 Unranked]
Board Game: Star Trek: Ascendancy
Sean Franco
United States
Columbia
Missouri
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This might have been the highlight of the con for me: Star Trek: Ascendancy. We played a full five-player game (no Borg), with three of us being new to the game and two experienced players. I played as the Federation. The five-hours of actual game-play after teaching flew by.

I'm not a huge Star Trek fan, but the game looked impressive, and signing up for games you can't play anywhere else ought to be one of the purposes of the con. I'm glad I did. All of the players were fun, and they answered tons of Star Trek questions I had concerning various quirks of the game.

Earth was successfully invaded twice (once by Cardassians, and later by Klingons). I had to reconquer the planet from each of them (making the second invasion sting a little). Ultimately, the game came down to tie-breakers between the Romulans and the Federation, but even the tie-breakers were a tie! The start of a beautiful galactic alliance, I'm sure.

Total plays: 1
 
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11. Board Game: Magic Maze [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:475]
Board Game: Magic Maze
Sean Franco
United States
Columbia
Missouri
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After that epic monster of a game, I definitely needed something to unwind with. I ran into Ashley, and with her friends, we played through the first two scenarios of Magic Maze, checked out of the Play and Win library. What a game! A real-time coöp with no player turns and no communication allowed. We had a great time with it.

On Friday, I would play again with Vincent, Crystal, Eric, Adam, and Amanda, again playing only through victory in scenario 2.

Total plays: 11
 
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12. Board Game: Fabled Fruit [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:735]
Board Game: Fabled Fruit
Sean Franco
United States
Columbia
Missouri
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I've been highly intrigued by Friedemann Friese's new Fable mechanic, so I pulled Fabled Fruit out of Play and Win. Eric, Amanda, and I played three sessions of this. It's a fantastic mechanic and a clever game. I ultimately bought a copy from the Stronghold booth in the vendor hall.

Total plays: 3
 
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13. Board Game: Queendomino [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:417] [Average Rating:7.29 Unranked]
Board Game: Queendomino
Sean Franco
United States
Columbia
Missouri
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I found Ashley again, and we played yet another Play and Win, Queendomino. I wasn't the biggest Kingdomino fan, but I think it's ultimately better than the more complicated sequel. No loss.

Total plays: 1
 
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14. Board Game: Battling Tops [Average Rating:6.12 Overall Rank:6432]
Board Game: Battling Tops
Sean Franco
United States
Columbia
Missouri
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I didn't actually play any Battling Tops, but I did go to the tournament. This is worth the price of admission alone. Imagine dozens of gamers, dressed like Mexican wrestlers, cheering and screaming a multiple games of Battling Tops in an elimination bracket. It's something to be seen. Congrats to Kathleen for her win.
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15. Board Game: Goa [Average Rating:7.59 Overall Rank:165]
Board Game: Goa
Sean Franco
United States
Columbia
Missouri
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Kit wanted to play a crunchy medium Euro, so we grabbed Goa from the Geekway library. I taught Julia, and we dived into the three player game. It was ultimately a close game, with Kit winning on the back of the most money bonus!

Total plays: 1
 
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16. Board Game: 1846: The Race for the Midwest [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:453]
Board Game: 1846: The Race for the Midwest
Sean Franco
United States
Columbia
Missouri
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Saturday

I said that cons were a good place to try games you would never have a chance to play otherwise. I would never really have a chance to play an 18XX game ordinarily, and I've never played one. 1846 was a good introduction to the genre, and I enjoyed the game, although it did kinda confirm that I probably won't be playing any other 18XX games; it wasn't really my speed.

Total plays: 1
 
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From gallery of logopolys
Sean Franco
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Columbia
Missouri
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I only got one trade in this year in the math trade. But I did get a brand-new copy of...
 
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18. Board Game: Lifeboats [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:1537]
Board Game: Lifeboats
Sean Franco
United States
Columbia
Missouri
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...Lifeboats! We cracked it out of the shrink wrap and played a full six-player game, with Kit, Austin, Mark, Hannah, Max, and me. Plenty of backstabbing happened, and Hannah got a strong win.

Total plays: 1
 
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19. Board Game: Fast Forward: FORTRESS [Average Rating:6.36 Overall Rank:2978]
Board Game: Fast Forward: FORTRESS
Sean Franco
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Columbia
Missouri
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Fortress was in the Play and Win library, and we did really like the Fable mechanic from the night before. Vincent, Eric, Amanda, and I sat down and played the entire deck. It was such a cool experience of discovery. Definitely interested in playing more games in the series.

Ultimately, I actually won this from the Play and Win drawing, so I'm looking forward to trying it out with a new group.

Total plays: 12
 
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20. Board Game: Container [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:676]
Board Game: Container
Sean Franco
United States
Columbia
Missouri
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Sunday

The last day of the con began with one of my favorite economic games, Container. We were actually down a player, so Eric dropped into the game. There was a weird wrinkle with the new players unintentionally messing with the economy, but still fun.

Total plays: 1
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21. Board Game: Blue Moon [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:1113]
Board Game: Blue Moon
Sean Franco
United States
Columbia
Missouri
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The flea market was even bigger than this year, at least twice the size of last year's. I picked up several small expansions with some haggling, but I'm happy to have picked up Blue Moon (and two expansions!) for $5.
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22. Board Game: Urban Sprawl [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:1578]
Board Game: Urban Sprawl
Sean Franco
United States
Columbia
Missouri
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Microbadge: Ameritrash fanMicrobadge: Karl MarxMicrobadge: Climate change scienceMicrobadge: My Favorite Contribution to BGGMicrobadge: Devoted Father
Urban Sprawl was an appropriate bookend for the con, considering that I had started with Centerville. We played a three-player game (the ideal player count), and we played a short game since I was the only experienced player. It went faster than normal, with the Sports Team coming out less than a round after the Airport. Eric won, although I was pretty pleased with my political successes in the game.

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From gallery of logopolys
Sean Franco
United States
Columbia
Missouri
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Loving you is like loving the dead
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If you could touch the alien sand and hear the cries of strange birds and watch them wheel in another sky, would that satisfy you?
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Microbadge: Ameritrash fanMicrobadge: Karl MarxMicrobadge: Climate change scienceMicrobadge: My Favorite Contribution to BGGMicrobadge: Devoted Father
Once again, I had a blast. I can't wait until next year. Big thanks to all of the Geekway staff and organizers for creating one of the best play experiences out there!
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