Ten years ago, 6 friends had a meetup at Cumberland Falls State Park in southern Kentucky. The aim was to catch up with each other, play a few games and take a break from the rat race for a few days. We played Elfenland (+gold) and learned about Troy’s amazing pig call. We decided that Dune was a great game for 6 but the rules suck. We learned that everyone has a limit and Jeff reaches everyone’s limit. But, most of all, we had fun hangin’ with each other and we enjoyed playing games.
During the intervening years, we’ve gotten a little older and grayer but each February, we’ve returned to the same spot to enjoy a weekend full of friends and games. At it’s peak, GTF hosted 24 gamers over the course of 4 days. We’ve scaled it back a bit but we still have about 20 friends show up each year and that seems to be about the right number to be sure you’re gaming and catching up with everyone. This year was no different with 18 of us traveling from Indiana, Ohio and South Carolina for the festivities.
Highlights from this year’s event…
What can I say? It’s the hotness on the ‘geek these days and it was hot at GTF. I opened up with this on Wednesday evening and over the course of GTF, I played 16 games of this and taught over half the group how to play. By the middle of Thursday, this gem had taken up permanent residence on one of the tables. If nothing else was happening, you could be sure there was a game of this going. I expected Dominion to be in heavy rotation since nearly everyone who attends is a former M:TG player and, to some degree, enjoyed the deck building aspect of the grandfather of all CCGs.
Personally, I’m not a fan. However, about half our group has really taken to this and it has grown to be a regular staple at GTF. From about 10pm until the wee hours of the morning, you can find at least 5 GTF’rs going nuts with Werewolf.
Every year, on Friday or Saturday, Troy grills up some burgers from his parents’ farm and we supply the rest. It’s the one community meal we share. Kieron uses this as an opportunity for the group photo.
Every year, this (and bgg.con) is a chance for me to try out new games (usually some of my own).
This year, I enjoyed my first play of Galaxy Trucker, Pandemic, Stone Age and Key Largo.
I enjoyed all of them and already own copies of Galaxy Trucker and Stone Age. Both of these are games I expect are suitable for the family and should see some play in the coming months.
While I enjoyed Pandemic, I don’t think it is something I’ll purchase. Co-ops tend to feel samey after a few plays so I don’t play them much (although I just purchased BSG…you can call me a hypocrite I suppose :).
Key Largo was a hoot but I’m not sure my teenagers would appreciate it.
GeekBucks and the Auction
GTF even has its own economy!
Win a game, record it and turn in the sheet to a GeekTeller and you’re flush with GeekBucks! GeekBucks are a device Kieron introduced several years ago to encourage everyone to record their plays so we would have a record of (most) games played during GTF. Get a few GeekBucks and bid on something in the auction.
This year we had games donated from Wargame Depot, gift certificates from ThoughtHammer and Boulder Games, and a full pass to GenCon in August.
Saturday evening is always lively when the auction switches from silent to live bidding.
On to Next Year
The biggest downer with GTF is that it’s now 350+ days until next year’s event. Still, we plan to renew our friendships and our love of gaming again next February…