On Nov 10th 2012 we had the 2nd annual Gamers For Cures 24 Hour Board Game Marathon to benefit Turner Syndrome Society of the US.
During last year’s event we managed to raise just over $7,000 for the charity. To read the write up from last year you can go HERE!
After last year we wanted to reach for the sky! We wanted to set our goal at $10,000 raised, a lofty goal no doubt. So throughout the year we, as a group, talked about Gamers For Cures to anyone who would listen. I mentioned it a ton on my podcast, The Geek Allstars and we made sure all local gamers knew of the great cause. In fact I even went out to Gen Con with a few BGG buddies of mine (Adam O, Chris Kirkman Eric Martin, and John B.) had some business cards made up for the charity to spread the word, and spoke to anyone who would listen at booths about our event. Fast forward a few months and a trillion more begging mails and handshakes, and it was finally time for this year’s events (to save you some time reading about the planning and more on the gaming/fund raising part!).
The day finally arrived. We would be gaming from 8am Sat. morning until 8am Sunday morning, at the same GREAT FLGS as last year, The Gamers Armory in Cary NC (www.gamersarmory.com). Crystal and Scott are amazing owners and really reach out to their customers and the community, not to mention run a top notch and truly Friendly, local game store. This year we had a little over 20 total pre-registered “marathon” players, whom all donated an entry fee to play for the full 24 hours, as well as a handful of players who bought “overnight passes” which did not include the full day of meals but did include access to the store for the full night of gaming. We provided some great swag bags for the marathon players as well as breakfast from NY Bagel and Deli, Cinnabon and Chik fil A , lunch from Jersey Mike’s and dinner from a great Pizza place (Primo Pizza) which is located conveniently next door.
Among some other highlights were the plethora of raffle prizes and door prizes for the big day. We had a ton of great sponsors without whom we simply could not have had a successful event. There is too many to list so I will show you a snapshot of our T-Shirt which has pretty much all of them. BUT, I do want to thank a few of them in print as well. A HUGE thanks to Eagle/Gryphon games, The God-Father himself of the event Stephen Buonocore and Stronghold Games, Fantasy Flight Games, Dice Hate ME Games, AEG, Arcane Wonders, Martin Walace and of course our friends over at Game Salute.
To sum up some of the uniqueness of our raffles is easy. We had a wall of 80 YES 80!!! Items which we had corresponding boxes numbered (1-80) to in front of them on the counter. Attendees would buy raffle tickets for 1$ each, sign them and place them in the appropriate box of the game in which they wanted to win. This way, if you see a great game you want you can stuff the box full for that one game to help your odds of winning. Naturally nothing is written in stone. I stuffed the heck out of the box for Crude and Article 27 and Crystal (who put 2 tickets in EACH) won both of them.
But alas, that was not the only raffles we had! We also had a big raffle in which the top prizes were as follows:
1. iPad 3
2. Mage Wars
3. Defenders of the Realm + Hero Expansion 2
4. MTG:from the vault—Legends
6. DHM Viva Java+ Geek Spansion, + Carniaval w/ Sideshow Expac
Was that all for things to win? NOPE! Not only those but we also had hourly raffle drawings FREE each hour on the hour for every single person in the store to win great door prizes.
So enough selling it as fun b/c it 1000% was a blast. What all did we do???
Well a ton of games were played through the day, and I will encourage anyone who was there to comment/reply to this with what they played and if and how much fun they had, b/c I can only comment on MY fun of the day.
This year I brought my daughter Lauren right from the get go. Lauren is an 8 year old spark-plug and is the main inspiration for the event. She has been diagnosed with Turner Syndrome now for nearly 3 years and has been doing great since being able to start treatment with thyroid meds and daily HGH shots. (For some great info on TS please visit turnersyndrome.org) It was her big desire to play in the full 24 hours of the event this year. So we got started with some great new card games from Stronghold Games.
Four of us played a full game of Crazy Creatures of Dr. Gloom and a full game of Lil’ Devils. She seemed to love Dr. Gloom more than Lil’ Devils, where as I enjoyed Lil’ Devils more myself. They are both quite fun little filler type card games but there just seems to be a bit more substance to Devils then Dr. Gloom.
Once that was over it was time for our annual Ascension tourney. This year we moved the tourney to 11am which I think hurt our turnout a slight bit for it. We ended up having to use a 3 table set up with one table being light a player. Adam Reeves ended up being victorious in the tourney, but again I think we all won seeing as we got to play my favorite game Ascension!
From there I was able to help out talking to various people who were new to the store and even some who were new to gaming but happened to hear about the event in one way or another. I showed them around the store and told them about various games going on at the time. There was some old standards and favorites including Agricola, Macao, Samurai Swords/Shogun, Endeavor, Stone Age and Galaxy Trucker… Some new favorites including Ahnk Morpork, Quarriors, Fleet, Vegas, and even a 5 hour plus game of Battlestar Galactica! We even had some daytime prototypes making an appearance with Darrell Louder’s Compounded getting a nice play (so jealous I missed this one).
Before long I was longing for some more games and trying to get a work buddy of mine and my uncle (both newer gamers) into the fray. I introduced them to the 30 year old gem Can’t Stop and I could tell their excitement was building! From there I took a shot at getting them a piece of some larger scale gaming in the form of an 8 player game of Viva Java. It was about as unique the table for VJ as I had ever seen. We had completely new gamers, some fairly new gamers, some veteran gamers and even the developer (Dice Hate Me Chris) himself in on the game. One thing that was not unique was that even in what Chris described as “hands down the strangest game of Viva Java ever played”, it was an absolute BLAST for all who played it. No matter where people finished in the game we ALL loved the experience and the game, and not a better complement can be made to such a good game.
From there it was already nearly 11pm and time for the wrapping up of the dollar and big ticket raffles. Games were won throughout the day between hourly drawings and the dollar and big ticket raffles, but just about EVERYONE who either wanted to win or tried to win. I think I ended up walking away with the Thunderstone Advance Expansion, A Nightfall Expansion, Sunrise City, and a copy of Off your rocker.
Now, it was closing time for the store for the lay person, but not for us marathoners, or the people who donated to get the “overnight pass” to game with us until 8am! It was the REAL time to have some serious gaming going on!
This was the time I was looking forward to. Finally time for me to relax and to do so I got us started in a 4 player game of the upcoming Clever Mojo release Princes of The Dragon Throne. I was really looking forward to teaching this one to Adam O and Mario C and I know Chris was looking forward to getting some revenge on me for the smackdown I
handed him at Gen Con this year. Well Adam O was the one laying the smack down and I took up the rear, but who cares we got to play this killer upcoming game. All four the players agreed that the game looks beautiful (ESPECIALLY for a prototype) and the game play is equally up to the task. We simply cannot wait until we can get them to take our money for this when the time comes!
Next up for me was a game of The Castles of Burgundy. Let me say that this game is one I truly LOVE. That’s usually a bad thing for me, b/c the more I love a complex game like this, the worse I am at it. Two rare things happened in this one… First I won, and somehow it was decently handily getting somewhere in the neighborhood of 270 or so points (and even somehow beating my gaming mentor/nemesis Adam O) but secondly I did so without ever getting out of the 3rd hole in turn order. No small feat, any one of those.
To wrap up the night, the current “in country” hosts of The Geek Allstars Podcast (myself, Adam O, and Red since Gyroplay is currently in Antarctica… and no that’s not a joke or metaphor for someplace else), along with our many time guest host Chris K, and finally Ruth B, sat down for a not so friendly game of Vannuatu. Dear lord is that game cut-throat. One thing is for sure when you play it, you need to make sure what happens in Vannuatu, stays in Vannuatu. It had us cursing at each other after 23 hours of gaming together and ready to throw wooden bits into each others eyes! Of course it was all in good hilarious fun, especially watching Red draw turtles completely screwing Chris over at the same time… ahh screw your neighbor gaming fun!
And Just like that the day was over. We had played and ran an amazing and successful 2nd annual 24 hour BG Marathon for Charity. The numbers are still being tabulated for exact amounts BUT we already know we managed to raise over $8,000 for Turner Syndrome Society of the US!! I know I was and am still tired from being up so long, but I simply cannot wait for next year!!!
Can we do it 25 hours next year??? Only time will tell! Stay tuned and thanks for all of your support!