Gamers Ranch 2023

In what I’m hoping is officially an annual tradition following last year’s trip, I recently spent another couple of days at the amazing gaming mecca that is the Gamers Ranch.

I got into detail about the ranch in last year’s post, but a brief overview is that it’s a giant building in the middle of Missouri filled with games, amenities, and beds. Just outside the front door is a beautiful pond and an 18-basket disc golf course.

This year we had two full days at the ranch, plus most of Friday (arrival day). We assigned meals in advance, with most people prepping in advance so they didn’t need to spend much time cooking.

The Gamers Ranch features a vast collection of games (not just tabletop games). Pretty much from the time we arrived to when we departed late Monday morning, we were constantly playing games. Here are all the games I played, roughly in order, around half of them for the first time, and some of them multiple times:

  • Star Wars deckbuilding game (x2)
  • Beer & Bread
  • Bad Company
  • Earth
  • Heat (x2)
  • The Castles of Burgundy Collector’s Edition
  • disc golf (x3)
  • War Chest
  • Trailblazer: The John Muir Trail
  • Fairy Tales
  • Riftforce
  • Challengers
  • Heat
  • Mountain Goats
  • Ethnos
  • Magic (Tales of Middle-Earth draft)
  • Ready Set Bet
  • Go Cuckoo
  • Turing Machine
  • Green Team Wins
  • Crokinole

Have you ever attended a dedicated gaming weekend? There’s something extra fun about everyone staying in the same place.

10 thoughts on “Gamers Ranch 2023”

  1. Jamey – wow, that looks awesome and must have been great fun – I couldn’t think of anything better than a weekend away playing games in a great resort.

    I haven’t done a gamers ranch/resort yet, but this Friday we have the inaugural games night for the Melbourne Meeples in the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne called BiTe (Board in the East) – so this will be great fun, and a regular monthly event to attend.

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  2. My friends and I have considered a weekend at this place numerous times – it looks incredible, we’ll make sure to get there some day.

    You played Heat at long last! I’d love to hear your thoughts, either here or in a video sometime. I haven’t been able to play it yet, but I was excited to see they have a copy at Pieces.

    Unrelated, but fun to mention – we played our first game of Tapestry with all expansions last night, and it added so much depth to the base game. My friend Claire was playing her very first game of Tapestry ever and scored freakin’ THREE HUNDRED AND FIVE! It was so fun to watch!

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    • Let me know what you think if you go to the ranch someday! And yes, I was really excited to play Heat, and I had fun with both games (US and Italy maps). I have a video coming soon about it. 305 is a truly excellent score for someone’s first game of Tapestry (or even their 10th game!).

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  3. This looks and sounds incredibly fun! It’s definitely something I hope Allie and I can do one day with the right group. The search for more like-minded gamers starts now!

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  4. Such a fun list of games! I still really want to try the Star Wars deck building game!
    We haven’t had a dedicated weekend away that wasn’t a convention, but we host a game weekend where a bunch of our friends come up for at least a day and a night every December, some for two. We also have friends who will host an overnight game day a couple times a year. All games all the time!

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  5. Jamey,

    Yes, indeed! This past weekend was the third year in a row that I’ve handled the logistics for 6-8 friends to gather and play games for the better part of four days. We arrive Thursday afternoon around 3pm and our checkout is 3pm on the following Monday. Everyone signs up for one meal and one clean-up. This past weekend, we had baked Ziti; mountainous BLTs; shredded chicken over rice w/roasted Brussels Sprouts; and a breakfast bar consisting of lox, bagels, cream cheese, pickled onions (from our chef at the café) just to name a few.

    Regarding games, we played Hansa Teutonica, King of Tokyo, Star Trek: Five Year Missions, Seas of Strife, The Great Dalmuti, Highlander, Trekking Through History, Space Base, Starship Captains, Villainous, Vampire: The Masquerade ~Chapters, Abyss, Western Legends, Heroes of Barcadia, Brass, Batman, Bruxelles, Salem 1692, No Thanks, Cat in the Box, Thunder Road: Vendetta, Solar Draft, Trinidad, and Black Orchestra.

    Also, 39 other friends and I attend PiranhaPigCon (PPCon) in VA, hosted by the Rouses and the other Pegs from Blue Peg Pink Peg. We stay in a 17K sq. ft. home in the mountains and the same rules apply ~ cook a meal, clean up from a meal. Finally, my friend Shai Rosenfeld started what is becoming a lucrative endeavor called Playhouse in which people gather for a long gaming weekend but they don’t have to do anything in the kitchen…all of the meals are prepared for you. Yes, it’s a higher priced point, but actually no more than you buying the ingredients for 10-15 people and then sacrificing at least one game to prepare it.

    A few years ago, I had the opportunity to attend SaltCon in Utah, Origins in Ohio, and PAX Unplugged in my hometown of Philly. With the expense involved, I’ve now pared back my event to the following calendar:

    – Mar: Playhouse (PA)
    – Mar: PPCon (VA)
    – May: Playhouse (PA)
    – Jul: SummerCon (MD)
    – Oct: Playhouse (PA)
    – PAX Unplugged (PA)

    Hope to see you at PAX Unplugged…or for anyone coming through Philly, reach out!

    Cheers,
    Joe

    Reply
    • That sounds like an amazing weekend! Plus the big 39-person event–it’s impressive that you found a place that could fit all of you. Where can I learn more about Playhouse?

      Reply

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