Wednesday, November 9, 2016

24 Hour Gaming Marathon to Support Extra Life - Recap

This past weekend I participated in a gaming marathon that was hosted by my local game store, The Gaming Goat.  I played games for 24 hours and helped raise a lot of donations for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals through Extra Life.  The store owner, Phil, had the store open for nearly 60 hours, from Friday morning to Sunday evening!  Another patron, Taylor, and I were planning on raising money to support Extra Life, a charity that raises money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals by organizing gamers (video, board, card, etc.) all around the country and having them do 24 hour gaming marathons to collect donations that are all sent off to the hospitals to support treatment, research, and more.

My 24 hour marathon began on Friday evening and Taylor's began on Saturday morning.  So, with the overlap, and the store's regular operating hours, the total gaming marathon was well over 48 hours (about 60 after all was said and done).

During those hours, hundreds of games were played by dozens, and maybe even hundreds of people.  Some stayed for an hour or two, some were there for a full 24 hours or even more, and some people participated by donating to show their support.  The event also included an online auction of donated games, various raffles and giveaways, and a lot of caffeine!  The Gaming Goat donated hundreds of dollars worth of gift certificates and many patrons donated games to the auction.  The generosity that I saw was incredible and I can't wait to do this again next year.

Below are pictures and short reviews of the games I played over the 24 hours that I was at the Gaming Goat.  I played a total of 15 different games, three of which I played multiple times.

If you would like to donate to support Extra Life, my participant page will be active through the end of the year. Please visit

Extra Life is a charity that was formed by gamers and has a heart tugging origin story.  Be sure to watch the video to see what the charity is all about and why the Extra Life events are growing by leaps and bounds every year.

Axis & Allies
Axis & Allies - 7:30pm - I didn't play Axis & Allies, but I took about 40 minutes to help set it up.  I was planning on playing if there weren't any other games going on, but around 8:00 some more people came in so I played other games.  I got five games played in the time it took the A&A players to get through half their game and call it a draw!  Still, it looks impressive on the table!
Expedition: Famous Explorers - 8:30pm - Expedition: Famous Explorers is a great family game that I really love playing.  Unfortunately it hasn't gotten quite the attention I think it deserves.  It's super simple to play and teach, and plays pretty quickly, even with six players.
Expedition: Famous Explorers

Expedition: Famous Explorers
Unmasked: Dracula's Feast - 9:45pm - Dracula's Feast is just wrapping up its Kickstarter campaign and has been an incredible success.  I reviewed the game a few weeks ago and loved it.  And everyone I played with loved it, too.  It's the only game that I played three times, and it even got pulled out and played by others without me.  A few of the players even went out and backed the game!
Unmasked: Dracula's Feast
Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age - 10:30pm - This is another game I recently reviewed.  I played a two player game and we had a great time!
Roll Through the Ages: The Bronze Age
Ongoing gaming - 10:40pm - At 10:40 I took a quick picture of the gaming going on.  Quite a few people were still playing strong.  The Axis & Allies game was getting close to hitting the midpoint.  About 45 minutes later they decided to call it a draw and clean up, but for many others the night was just starting.
10:40pm - the night is young.
Taking a Break - 11:20pm - Taking a break and finding out that Munchkin players can get benefits for good hygiene.
Always a good idea...
The Overland Route - 11:30pm - This is my latest game idea.  It's a two player game that uses 18 cards (for the 2016 18 Card Contest on BGG).  It's semi-cooperative and the players are trying to work together to build a railroad across the country.  The game ends when a track connects the two stations that are at the far ends.  Then players get 1 point for each segment of track that is in their color, plus 2 points if the track goes through a central station in their color.  It needs a few minor tweaks and I need to make sure the track arrangements are balanced, but it's working great!
Trying out my newest creation, The Overland Route.
Graveyards, Ghosts & Haunted Houses - 12:10am - We were looking for a somewhat simple game, so I broke out this casual tile laying game at about midnight.
Graveyards, Ghosts, and Haunted Houses
String Railway - 1am - I hadn't played String Railway previously, but thought it would be interesting.  There was a lot more strategy behind the string laying game than I expected and we all had a lot of fun with it.
String Railway
Unmasked: Dracula's Feast - 2:00am - By popular demand I pulled out Dracula's Feast again!  Everyone loved this game!
Unmasked: Dracula's Feast
Betrayal at House on the Hill - 2:45am - We had a full six-player game, complete with the Widow's Walk expansion.  The haunt was a bit of a dud because of how things were initially laid out, but we had fun regardless.
Betrayal at House on the Hill
Pandemic - 4am - We actually played two games of Pandemic.  The first game we managed to win pretty easily, but the second game was a nailbiter.  It came down to the very last turn.  There were three cards left to draw and we knew one of them was the event that lets you build a research station anywhere.  If the card was the second to last card we'd have won, but it ended up being the very last card and we all perished at 5:20am.

Pandemic - if this had been the second to last card
instead of the last, we'd have won.
Hyperborea - 6:30am - I introduced a few other players to Hyperborea, one of my favorite games.  This is an interesting combination of bag building, area control, exploration, civ building, and combat that I find fascinating.  Everyone else really liked it as well.
Halfway Done - 7:30am - At 7:30 in the morning I had been gaming for 12 hours already and was about half done with my 24 hour marathon.
7:30am - these gamers were gaming all night!
Scythe - 9:15am - Several friends showed up bright and early at 9am just to play Scythe.  It's definitely a favorite among my friends.
Napping - 9:30am - He made it all night, but finally dozed off at 9:30, but only for about 30 minutes.
He made it until 9:30 before he dozed off for about a half hour.
Grifters - 11:40am - Grifters is another favorite that I'm always happy to get to the table.
8 Seconds - 12:30pm - I got to test my game, 8 Seconds, with the new Vegas Showdown betting expansion and it was AWESOME!  I'm super stoked about this latest addition to the game.
My game, 8 Seconds, with the new Vegas Showdown
expansion that includes betting.
Taluva Deluxe - 2:00pm - A friend of mine brought his deluxe copy of Taluva and introduced me to it.  I absolutely loved it and we played twice!  It's definitely going on my wishlist.
Taluva Deluxe

Taluva Deluxe
Tiny Epic Western - 4:00pm - Another new favorite, Tiny Epic Western got to the table late in my marathon.  It was a big hit!
Tiny Epic Western
Tiki Island - 6:00pm - The last game of my marathon was Tiki Island, another game that is currently on Kickstarter.  This is one I have to review.  My first play was with only two players and went much better than I expected it to.  I'm interested to see how it plays with more players.
Tiki Island

Tiki Island

Tiki Island

Tiki Island

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