I spend a lot of time talking about Tabletop RPGs. Without a doubt those roleplay inducing, hit point crushing affairs hold the biggest piece of my gaming heart, but if I were to expose a little more of that beating flesh to you board games certainly cover a sizable portion as well! This is why I would like to talk to you about Geekway to the West, the St. Louis hosted gaming convention that focuses on board gaming and board gaming alone. With stunning results too.
If you visit the Geekway to the West site you will see that they’ve been at the Con game for 11 years this May. I’ve attended the last two. When I first attended I wasn’t sure what I would discover, my apprehensions were somewhat parallel to my good friend Toby’s, which he covered in an eloquent write up on his blog Roll and Groove, when he first attended GttW. I was nervous about the whole thing, the crowds, not knowing the games, etc. It was my first Convention and unlike Gen Con, which was at that time coming down the pipe, I’d be attending alone. What I discovered was an entirely inclusive environment, full of gamers ready to flag you down if they needed one more for a game and readily help you understand the rules or, if no one knew them, pick your brain to assist the group in getting ready. Four days of gaming flew by quick.
The next year I attended merely one day of the event due to a family function filling up the remainder of my weekend. I had signed up to help with the library too, and sadly had to back out. The one day I was there was very eventful though. I fell in love with an odd little game called Space Cadets: Dice Duels, and even won a copy of the game just for playing it. Last year I even helped out some would be game designers by being a volunteer game tester. It was a cool experience especially because, as anyone who knows me well can tell you, I really love just talking to other gamers about their passions and few have more love for gaming than someone putting themselves out there as a designer.
This year I plan to attend all four days and will likely volunteer to work the library if they need me. Speaking of said library, it is huge. The folks who run the con have collected hundreds of games, many of them with multiple copies, to lend out to the more than one thousand attendees. Truly a board gamer’s delight!
A few things to note about this con if you intend to consider coming on down to play some games with me, you know you want to.
- Date: May 14-17
- Place: Westport Sheraton Chalet – St. Louis, Missouri
- Price: For all 4 days
- Early Bird: $35.00 until Monday 01/12/2015!
- Online Post 01/12/2015: $45.00
- At the Door: $50.00
- Online badge purchasers also get a free board game at Check in! (Last year I got a copy of the Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game)
- Let me reiterate the above…Free Game folks, Hell the game I got last year retails for $30 and I paid $35 for my badge.
- There is a Play and Win contest for some games, whenever you play them you are entered into a lottery to win that copy at the end of the Con. Last year I won Space Cadets: Dice Duel.
- There are contests
- Game Design Contest
- Certain games like Crokinole & other Attendee run games
- Support for Designers
- Prototype Lab
- Playtest area
- The design competition
- Trade table where you can trade your old game for something new
- Vendors can set up tables too. Last year I met with William Mandry, creator of the excellent pocket game Survivalistic.
I could go on but at this point just visit the website here because you are obviously interested enough to maybe get a badge. I’d love to see some of my readers attend. Would love to meet some new folks and would love to see some old friends again. Come beat me at a game, I’m abysmal at boardgames anyway (despite my love for them) so it should be easy. Hopefully I’ll see you at the Con!