I started gaming in the early 90’s. I remember that first game of Talisman 2nd edition. It was a roll and move adventure game. My friends and I played for 6 hours. 20+ years later I am still gaming, However I prefer my games to be less than 2 hours.
I was one of the founding members of the 417 gamers group. We started 10 years ago at a local gaming shop. 4-7 of us would get together on Tuesday nights to try out some new games like Dominion, Race for the Galaxy and Agricola. As the Board gaming hobby grew, so did our group. We added new games and new people at regular intervals. Now this group is 900 users strong and I am very happy to still be a part of it. I have made some of my best friends in this group.
My gaming tastes lean more towards worker-placement. This is a game mechanic where you put down a game piece and take an action. Usually the actions get more and more powerful. My favorite games are Caverna, CopyCat, El Grande, Seasons, Blood Bowl Team Manager, Castle Dice, Carson City, Colosseum, Isle of Skye and Russian Railroad.
I hope that this group will keep growing. Someday I want my son (who started gaming when he was 3), to wear a 417 gamer T-shirt.
Name: Jimmy Ledbetter
Favorite Gaming Color: Orange
Favorite Game: Copycat and Carson City
Favorite Designer: Depends on the month.
I always mention my father when I talk about my love of board games. Growing up Dad would often play Memory, Chess, Axis & Allies, or Stratego with me so long as I finished my homework first. That tradition continued well into my high school years, and sadly, the games never really changed much since Dad only knew how to play a few of them. For me, though, my taste for board games grew much larger. Some of my favorites are Twilight Imperium, Battlelore, and Mythotopia. But even now I can still bribe Dad into a good game of Axis & Allies.
My preference are games heavy on theme and immersion, such as Kingdom Death: Monster or any Arkham Horror game. However, I also enjoy war, area control or combative games. I have a slight reputation for having an aggressive play style, often to my own detriment. In our gaming group it’s generally expected that I will be the first player to make a hostile move. I joined 417Gamers two years ago in hopes to find other people with whom to share my hobby. Playing games with my Dad has convinced me firmly that board games are made immensely better with the other players sitting at the table. I’ll play just about anything with the folks behind Moon City Con; not because we share the same taste in games, but because of who they are. My hope is that this convention will create many other similar gaming groups.
Axis & Allies and Stratego are child’s play compared to the new detailed and comprehensive war games out on the market now. But to me, those are the best games in the world when my father is also at the table.
Name: Kyle Kanable
Favorite Gaming color: Purple, always purple.
Favorite Game: Gloomhaven
Favorite Designer: People pay attention to designers?
Ben not only has the body of a top level professional athlete but the mind as well. Maybe that’s stretching it a bit unless you’re talking professional bowler and the fact that he wouldn’t have gotten through college without tutors writing most of his papers. If that’s what you’re saying, it totally fits. But in the twilight years of his mid-thirties when his athletic exploits were becoming less than exploitative, he looked for another way to flex his winning prowess. He bravely entered the arena of Tabletop! An impressive record of 24-0 At Total Party Kills as a world class DM followed. It was said that he was so skilled that he would have weeping players thanking him for giving their 20th level characters a glorious untimely death. Unsatisfied he sought out a real challenge in the dingy gaming halls and found it waiting in the cruelest of mistresses… Catan!
He had finally found his calling. He veraciously tore his way through titles and players alike: Civilization, A Study In Emerald, Viticulture, you name it he dominated it. But after leaving hundreds of opponents moistening their cardboard with their own tears he learned the ultimate lesson this hobby has to offer… It’s truly not about the games you play but the people you play them with. After all, without them who would cry to their mothers and slink away in defeat?
Name: Ben Ennes
Favorite Gaming Color: The only one that matters, Green!
Favorite Game: Cyclades
Favorite Designers: Bruno Cathala, Jamey Stegmaier, & Jerry Hawthorne
Purpose of this convention: To lure in new victims… Er, quality gamers!
I grew up playing card and family games in northwestern Iowa, because let’s face it – what else are you going to do on a winter’s Sunday in the middle of Iowa? Cards were more often brought to the table than anything – Euchre, Spades, Canasta, and the dreaded Hand and Foot (I don’t care what Rick says – I still play it whenever).
After a brief, but all consuming, foray into World of Warcraft, I was introduced to the modern board game scene at a sci-fi meetup that was a monthly mash up with a number of meetup groups in Chicago. Played Dominion and then Hansa Teutonica. Contemplating a move to Springfield, MO, I needed to know there was some sort of gaming community before taking the plunge, and found some guys who played on Sunday. Through the Gaming Lads of Springfield (now Nameless City Guild) I was introduced to the 417Gamers. I think Rick and I joined the group within 30 days of each other. Every time I’m on BGG or at a convention somewhere, I am so thankful for the fantastic group we have here in Springfield. There aren’t many cities that will give gamers the opportunity to play on just about any given day of the month. The con is our way of giving back to this fantastic group of people and ushering new souls into our fold.
Name: Katherine Yoder
Favorite Gaming color: Used to be Green, Then Yellow – then decided not to believe in favorites, saves on confusion later.
Favorite Game: Refuses to answer (top 5, in no particular order: Scythe, Concordia, Brass, A Feast for Odin, Bruges)
Favorite Designer: It vacillates between Wallace, Feld, Rosenberg…
Purpose for the convention: World domination. Get everyone so engrossed in the games, they don’t see us coming.
Rick has been a gamer for as long as he can remember. Starting his roots in the digital realm, Rick cut his gaming teeth on Colecovision, Atari, and the Nintendo Entertainment System. Rick enjoyed many of the mass market games while growing up like Risk, Stratego, and Guess Who?. Big family gatherings at the Bagwell’s always included games. Sometimes that was the new party game that was going around, and sometimes it was a good round of Spades and Hearts.
Rick didn’t catch onto hobby gaming until 2013. Tired of the toxic online community from video gaming, he looked somewhere else to get his gaming fix. Scratching the itch with some of the usual gateways, Ticket to Ride, Red Dragon Inn, and Carcassonne, he fell into the rabbit hole most of us have. While falling down the rabbit hole, Rick joined the game group that played at the local game store Meta-Games Unlimited.
Joining with Jimmy, Steve Bowen, Jeremy Forrest, and Katherine Rick helped grow the local game group. When he started, the game group would average around 10 people on a given Thursday. Now it is not unseen to have 30+ come out to a game night. Their MeetUp membership has grown to 900+ as well. Holding regular events, tournaments, and attending game nights, you can often catch Rick playing a game somewhere in Springfield.
With the successes of the group and the rise in popularity of board gaming, Rick joined forces with 5 other people to help put on MoonCity Con. Come on out and Meeple New People.
Name: Rick Bagwell
Favorite Gaming color: Orange
Favorite Game: Concordia
Favorite Designer: Jamey Stegmaier
Purpose for the convention: Spread the hobby and let those that would like to, try a hobby game.