I went to BorderCon 2014 and all I played was ..............................
Solomon M. Green
Australia
Armadale
Victoria
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It's that time of year. The annual gathering on the main highway between Melbourne and Sydney, Mexico and Texas, somewhere in the order of 150 gamers, not all forgot to give personal hygiene some attention. We played by day, we played by night. Sleep was a luxury that many waived for non-stop gaming awesomeness.

So what did I play and with whom ?

Images courtesy of Aeos (Vexatious) and Mark (reddyredrooster)

BorderCon had two missions for me, a Hawesathon and improvement in Aluminium Gamer rating, the later being achieved. The Hawesathon will be revistied and we will get there.
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1. Board Game: COGZ [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:4265]
Solomon M. Green
Australia
Armadale
Victoria
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Photo courtesy of Aeos (Vexatious)

I brought this to BorderCon to spread the word of the upcoming Kickstarter on 30-Jun-2014. It's from Australian games designer, Wesley Lamont. It has proven to be very easy to teach and fun to play. As there are multiple plays, I have grouped them all together and thank everyone for their willingness to give this a go.
Opening game even before the Con kicked off.
Dean Glencross
Australia
Geelong
VIC
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Sol (9), Dean (12), Julian (6).
Game is released as KickStarter on 30-Jun-14
Not quite in bed on the first day, the last one for the night before sleep. When you have a game in your possession of pre release form about to be launched on KickStarter at the end of the month, a convention is the best time to introduce the game to others. Jo and Cameron were ready to give it a go.

Cameron Adams
Australia
Mount Waverley
Victoria
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Joannah Adams (Cane)
Australia
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Sol (11), Jo (4), Cameron (11). Cameron won on countback.
Casual 2 player game to start the first real day of BorderCon with
Mark Thomas
Australia
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Tight game and great company. If Wez maintains the quality and weight of the components then Kickstarter will be great value.
Sol (7), Mark (10).
After dinner, a light game as people roll back in. Grabbed:
Roger Smith
Australia
Cheltenham
Victoria
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Murray W
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and sat them down to learn.

Reasonably high scoring:
Roger (12), Murray (12), Sol (16).
Had the pleasure to demo this to Patty and the boys and value all the gaming we have done together going back to Convic days.
Patty Thomson
Australia
Wodonga
VIC
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Alex (10), Isaac (3), Patty (9), Sol (8).
Having recovered from the night before and only got breakfast done, five keen and eager gamers all wanted action. What better than a six player game of COGZ. They had a blast and love the game gadget.
Aeos James
Australia
Townsville
Queensland
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G'Day Tiger. How 'bout a game?
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Richard Weir
Australia
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sui jackson
Australia
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+ Josefa.

Aeos (5), Sui (8), Richard (8), Jo (6), Sol (5), Trent (6).
A win to Sui on countback.
A quiet game late into the evening on Sunday night. Pleased to have got a game in with Rene who had spent so much of his time, tirelessly revving us up with Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice.
Panda Z
Australia
Canberra
ACT
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Sol (14), Rene (11).
Last day of the Con and first play of the day.
K Soper
Australia
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+ Jo and Clare.
Jo (9) Sol (11), Konrad (5), Clare (6).
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2. Board Game: Uchronia [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:2068]
Solomon M. Green
Australia
Armadale
Victoria
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Got suckered in when I actually wanted something short.
Dean Glencross
Australia
Geelong
VIC
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Despite my early enthusiasm for the game two years ago, the rules come out as being clumsy and difficult to remember the mechanics. I think I'll take Glory to Rome ahead of this any day and even managed to a get a game of it in later with some great people (see below).
Sol (11), Dean (10), Julian (19).

We never had a chance once Julian got his engine revved up. He just pumped out those buildings quicker than we could. It was a welcome mercy kill.
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3. Board Game: Turn the Tide [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:919]
Solomon M. Green
Australia
Armadale
Victoria
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From my Aluminium Gamer list.
K Soper
Australia
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+ Clare from the west of Melbourne + Elly from Sydney.

A clean yet simple game where you play as many rounds as there are people with each round using a different set of cards so that each player completes the game having used all the different sets of cards.

We got cleaned up by Elly from Sydney as the youngest player at the table. Once you get going on this one, it's a clean little filler.

Sol (2), Elly (14), Konrad (6), 1. Yes Elly romped it in.
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4. Board Game: The Battle of Red Cliffs [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:9163]
Solomon M. Green
Australia
Armadale
Victoria
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Interesting little card game, Konrad had for us. Plays up to 9 players.

K Soper
Australia
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Richard Weir
Australia
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+ Josefa + Clare + Elly.

We played with 6, though in a noisy room where people are learning, probably not a good idea. Another win to Elly.
Josefa (11), Jonrad (10), Clare (7), Sol (13), Elly (21).
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5. Board Game: Keyflower [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:42]
Solomon M. Green
Australia
Armadale
Victoria
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Back to familiar territory with a meaty game I enjoy. I didnt worry about competing for turn order and focused on getting as many tiles as possible onto my tableau and then meeting the objectives to flip them to the points scoring side. Made all the easier when you get the right tiles and others want to use their abilities from your play area meaning you get the meeples at the end of the season.
Danny Bartel
Australia
Salisbury Heights
SA
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Brendan Mahony
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Adelaide
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Australia
MURRUMBEENA
Victoria
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All reality is a game. Physics at its most fundamental, the very fabric of our universe, results directly from the interaction of certain fairly simple rules, and chance... (Iain Banks)
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Erin
Australia
Murrumbeena
Victoria
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I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory.
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Rob at hand to teach.
Sol (58), Erin (37), Brendan (44), Danny (43), Rob (36).
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6. Board Game: Splendor [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:112]
Solomon M. Green
Australia
Armadale
Victoria
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Photo Courtesy of Elysia Chase and The Dice Men Cometh

This is a monty for Spiele de Jahre and what's more, I won at the first attempt. I never thought Hanabi should have got it and when you consider games from Donald X. Vaccarino such as Dominion and Kingdom Builder have won SDJ, games like this are definitely in with a chance.
Thanks to Rachel for teaching us. A great little game, where being the first to crack the game end trigger, does not necessarily mean you will win,
Mark Rickards
Australia
Hobart
Tasmania
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Elysia Chase
Australia
Hobart
Tasmania
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Rachel GreenFinger
Australia
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Elysia(15), Mark (10), Sol (16), Michael (5)
Second game of this, still loving it and this time I teach it to new people. Teaching of games is all part of the hobby in a pay forward sense.
Joannah Adams (Cane)
Australia
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Cameron Adams
Australia
Mount Waverley
Victoria
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Preston
Victoria
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Jo (6), Cameron (15), Matt (14), Sol (11)
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7. Board Game: Francis Drake [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:331]
Solomon M. Green
Australia
Armadale
Victoria
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Image courtesy of Cameron (Foursaken)

First leg of the Hawesathon. Jo had an original copy to crack, so we gave it a burl.
Joannah Adams (Cane)
Australia
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Cameron Adams
Australia
Mount Waverley
Victoria
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Matt Utting
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Preston
Victoria
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Cameron whomped us.
Sol (82) {Green}, Jo (90) {Yellow}, Matt (69) {Blue}, Cameron (106) {red}
A great games from Australian designer Peter Hawes.

The short coming is in the arrangement of the rules and finding the differences for different player setups which is completed by using 16 different role tiles, based on the shading in blue of a banner at the top of the role tiles.
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8. Board Game: Yikerz! [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:5619]
Solomon M. Green
Australia
Armadale
Victoria
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Such a quick fun game. Cameron had never seen this. We played this whilst Matt was off punching the living day lights out of Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice.

Best of 5 and he sunk me 3-2.
Cameron Adams
Australia
Mount Waverley
Victoria
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9. Board Game: Glass Road [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:210]
Solomon M. Green
Australia
Armadale
Victoria
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There is no question that Uwe Rosenberg is without a doubt, one of the leading games designers. This in no way means that such games necessarily appeal. Sadly, in my case, it did not deliver. It was on the play list, been done, though meh, not again. I figure Cameron feels the same as we both got smashed. It's just doesn't appeal. Too many buildings, too difficult to build, you feel as though progress is very limiting.

Thanks to:
Matt Utting
Australia
Preston
Victoria
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for teaching and for playing:
Joannah Adams (Cane)
Australia
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Cameron Adams
Australia
Mount Waverley
Victoria
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Matt Utting
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Preston
Victoria
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Jo (18), Cameron (9), Matt (18), Sol (8).
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10. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Solomon M. Green
Australia
Armadale
Victoria
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I was honoured to be invited by the reigning Australian Carcassonne Champion to play a game under international tournament rules. Yep,
Christine Freels
Australia
Rooty Hill (Sydney)
NSW
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whipped me good as I was no where of consequence with the farmers in their meadows. (87-63).

Considering I have really played it for a few years, not really disgraced.
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11. Board Game: Luchador! Mexican Wrestling Dice [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:2415]
Solomon M. Green
Australia
Armadale
Victoria
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Images courtesy of Rene Soria
Teamed with a festival of pinkness, Bandidos Espaciales ('El Extranjero Verde' and 'La Diosa Rosa') were pitched against Los Thomsons ('El Asesino Muslo Sudorosa' and Bebier Boy). The masks of Los Thomsons, not enough to protecft them when it mattered and Victory was our with the local bandidos KO'd.
CanCon, BunnyCon...BorderCon!!!
Australia
KILLARA
VIC
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Melissa
Australia
Parkville
Vic
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Mostly offline, but trying.
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Our second match, not so lucky with Bandidos Espaciales ('El Extranjero Verde' and 'La Diosa Rosa') being pitched against Rodilla hasta los cojones and his partner.
Melissa
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Kon Stavrinos
Australia
Canberra
ACT
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Big thanks to Rene for organising this tournament which added a further $130 to the BorderCon charity.
Panda Z
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Canberra
ACT
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12. Board Game: Fische Fluppen Frikadellen [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:2033]
Solomon M. Green
Australia
Armadale
Victoria
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Big thanks to Fraser for organising this one with additional game sets from Matt:
The base game allows for 5 players and with additional boards the game plays up to 15 people and we had a full complement. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to be the first to successfully trade your way through the markets and acquire three fetishes which can be located with one on each board. You leave the board via the ferry and move to another playing board of your choosing. Teaching 12 new people simultaneously was in the capable hands of Fraser with Stefanie backing up for German to English translations where required.
Fraser
Australia
Melbourne
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Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
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Ooh a little higher, now a bit to the left, a little more, a little more, just a bit more. Oooh yes, that's the spot!
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Stefanie Kethers
Australia
Melbourne
VIC
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Australia
Preston
Victoria
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Image courtesy of Aeos (Vexatious)

For the record, I cannot remember who actually won, though I think we all did in that we had so much fun in the organised chaos of this great event.

Actually, the winner was Stefanie....
Damn, beaten by a girl.... again !
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13. Board Game: Buccaneer Bones [Average Rating:5.86 Overall Rank:5449]
Solomon M. Green
Australia
Armadale
Victoria
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Saturday night, recovered from the drubbing at Carc and sugar deficiencies after getting some food into me, was time for a bit of light entertainment. Broke this out and was great to be playing games with Patty and the boys. I figured I would at least be showing something that few if any would have seen, though wrong on that count as it appears the boys knew the game as the man in the onesie had trained them up on it. Best pirate voices, Arrrrrggggggggggggggggggh !

Great little filler from Wattsalpoag Games released at Essen Spielvertage 2013 and on Kickstarter delivered in April this year with all the stretch goals.

Patty Thomson
Australia
Wodonga
VIC
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Patty (1), Sol (3), Dom (2), Alex (2).
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14. Board Game: Skybridge [Average Rating:5.89 Overall Rank:6770]
Solomon M. Green
Australia
Armadale
Victoria
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Pay no attention to the background in the photo, I took this one a few years ago when Kerrin and I played.

A great little coffee table game that I picked up in the Maths Trade a few years ago, that remained sadly unplayed till now. Aluminium Gamer ratings adjusted accordingly having now dusted my copy off to play with Patty and the boys. Patty remembers the game from the days of selling it in the shop, though never got a chance to play it.

Amazing how the playing styles can be so different with those rushing to cement their scoring position being outdone by patience in the end. To my shock, a win was gifted by everyone else jumping in to cap buildings meaning I was able to secure a big win.
Patty Thomson
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Wodonga
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Alex (28), Isaac (26), Patty (22), Sol (40).
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15. Board Game: Heads of State [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:3905]
Solomon M. Green
Australia
Armadale
Victoria
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The first meaty game of Sunday morning and the second leg in the anticipated Hawesathon celebrating games from Australian games designer, Peter Hawes. Brand new in shrink, I had spend a good hour sleeving, bagging and prepping the game for use. My Aluminium Gamer ranking was about to get a boost.

Rachel was apologetically committed to the Hawesathon, her idea, though never enough time at a con if you are going to play with everyone. We found two other willing participants, Caroline and Bennett, locals from Wangaratta who liked the look of the game and were prepared to give it a go. Take to the stage, me, to teach this one. This one at least has some easy mechanics explained in a one page summary, just some of the more important technicalities such as hand limit after the revolution which are a bit more obscure to find. We augmented the game board with cubes from El Grande meaning at a glance you could see the representation for dominance in the various regions per the suggestion in Using Wooden Cubes to counter the graphic issues with the game on BGG forums.

I went strongly into Spain, though France is where I ended up with my only crown as the King of France, earning the right to wear my jewel encrusted golden ($2 shop special) crown proudly. The newcomers whilst slow to start were quick to pick up the game and in the end Caroline got us.

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Sol (84), Rachel (66), Caroline (101, Bennett (69).
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16. Board Game: Glory to Rome [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:149]
Solomon M. Green
Australia
Armadale
Victoria
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What is it with the female Tasmanian fantasies with the sewer ? They both wanted to build them, so much so that their fellow traveller felt compelled to build a latrine. Jo asked of me to help teach this one, so having had a less than enthusiastic play of Uchronia earlier in the Con, GTR was always going to be easy for me to teach.

Our game seem destined to be completed by a forum, with Mark possibly getting the necessary conditions of a client from each of the six groups only to be thwarted by me invoking a labourer to clear the pool of the very legionaire he required for guaranteed victory. Nonetheless, he ended the game with the catacombs and an engine built towards the end of the game allowing me 11 cards in hand rather than the normal 5 proved sufficient to steal victory in the final stages.

Mark Rickards
Australia
Hobart
Tasmania
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Australia
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Joannah Adams (Cane)
Australia
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Elysia Chase
Australia
Hobart
Tasmania
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Mark (11), Elysia (12), Jo (9), Tessa (8), Sol (14).
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17. Board Game: Machi Koro [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:738]
Solomon M. Green
Australia
Armadale
Victoria
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That's me in the corner playing Machi Koro (2012). Image courtesy of Aeos (Vexatious).

Very honoured to be able to try this under the guidance of Frazer and Otto. Already a clear favourite game in the current routine of the Rogerson-McHarg household, the buzz over the weeks leading up to BorderCon was worth the wait. It's a game that will get better with familiarity. Competition between Fraser and Otto for Tuna boats early paid off in the end with Fraser reigning supreme.

Whilst at it's core it may be a dice game, there is alot more depth to this successful game. Essen printing last year in English was only 100 copies and they were snapped up very smartly. Other English copies exist in the wild such as the one we played using creative commons printed cards. The English release is due from Pandasaurus Games in the coming months.

Matt Utting
Australia
Preston
Victoria
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Daughter The Younger
Australia
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Fraser
Australia
Melbourne
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Back in the days when there were less maps we played every map back to back
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Ooh a little higher, now a bit to the left, a little more, a little more, just a bit more. Oooh yes, that's the spot!
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18. Board Game: Slash: Romance without boundaries [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:7502] [Average Rating:6.56 Unranked]
Solomon M. Green
Australia
Armadale
Victoria
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I'm not one for party games, and this was no better. Key to the game, based on Apples to Apples type mechanics is to be the lucky one putting up the prospective match for a famous character, both real and fictional, and then for the player leading and proposing the match to accept your proposed catch for the prospective.

e.g. You put up Draco Malfoy and others may propose suiters based on cards in their hands such as Helen Keller, Madonna, Josie from Josie and the Pussy Cats. You then get to decide who is the best suiter. Should you not think the proposals are credible, you can request that the person who proposed the suiter explain how they met. Upon success, the successful suiter and proposed match card are taken into the points pile of the player.

We played a few rounds. Despite both the enthusiasm of Iain, Lyn and Melissa, I still remained less than thrilled about the game. There are far worse party games than this.

Iain Triffitt
Australia
Five Dock, Sydney
NSW
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Melissa
Australia
Parkville
Vic
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May you find the Perfect Shoe! xxx
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Mostly offline, but trying.
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Other Kevin
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
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19. Board Game: Tsuro of the Seas [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:1136]
Solomon M. Green
Australia
Armadale
Victoria
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Played with standard rules and without sea monsters, meant survival of the fittest. Clearly I was lacking. It's a pretty game, though I prefer it with the expansion played as it makes the board change.

K Soper
Australia
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Roger Smith
Australia
Cheltenham
Victoria
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Julian Clarke
Australia
Canberra
ACT
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EuroGamer since 1980, & online games retailer since 2003
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Simon
Australia
Hornsby
NSW
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Konrad was the last boat standing.
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20. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:275]
Solomon M. Green
Australia
Armadale
Victoria
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Using the larger version with card holder, courtesy of Kevin:
Kevin O'Brien
Australia
Fitzgibbon (Brisbane)
QLD
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...but don't tell anyone!
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The Secret Bread Empire Über Alles!
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we embarked on a mission to venture into the wee hours and attempt success.

Brendan Mahony
Australia
Adelaide
South Australia
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♬♪♪ ♫ ♩ ♫♫♪ ♩♬♪ ♫
Australia
MURRUMBEENA
Victoria
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All reality is a game. Physics at its most fundamental, the very fabric of our universe, results directly from the interaction of certain fairly simple rules, and chance... (Iain Banks)
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Meng Tan
Australia
Bridgeman Downs
Queensland
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Erin
Australia
Murrumbeena
Victoria
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I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory.
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Success at 20 points seemed pretty good to me.
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21. Board Game: Black Sheep [Average Rating:5.95 Overall Rank:3961]
Solomon M. Green
Australia
Armadale
Victoria
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Reiner Knizia has so many different ways of presenting the same mathematical game mechanics, though every game seems just a bit different. Combine a modified form of Hold em poker with farm animals, where the first two animals are drawn from the deck and the remainder for each player come from their hand over two different turns into a field with the best hand winning, or in the case of a tie, the hand which claimed the best status first.

Where this is different, the game includes 6 different farm animals, 6 of each, and your aim is to claim a majority in both animal types and sets. Whether it be, Horses, Cows, Chickens, Pigs, sheep both white or black, they have a secret score also embossed underneath each animal. Combine that with the bonuses for majorities and you have a fun little game. Thanks to Clare for teaching this one.

K Soper
Australia
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Clare (15), Josefa (24), Konrad (3) Sol (18).
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22. Board Game: Last Will: Getting Sacked [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.53 Unranked]
Solomon M. Green
Australia
Armadale
Victoria
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It was on my entry for The BorderCon....Please Bring This....Come Play with Me...Geeklist! and I was excited when Konrad offered to play. Being the final day, we struggled to find others interested in getting sacked, so we went for it. Being some time since I last played Last Will it meant coming to terms with the mechanics again, they are not complicated, just the rules are challenging to see it. Player Order, Cards, Messengers, Actions, categories of activities, cleanup inclusive of depreciation if asset unused and capable of depreciation. I was surprised when Konrad chose to take the accelerated depreciation card given he didnt have a property capable of depreciation, it was a smart move which won him the game. It all hangs together really well which is why I wanted to play with the expansion for the first time.

I did alot of chasing preferential player order to gain first access to the cards on offer and rev up the engine with extra actions. Our First turn mistake was to forget that each placement of a card on your mat is an action, something we quickly cleaned up with little impact on the general game. The inclusion of Last Will: Messenger Promo Card did throw us a bit, though having Tezza on site to correct that solved the problem. In the end, I failed to go broke and Konrad managed to inherit by owing the bank.

K Soper
Australia
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Sol (5), Konrad (-2)
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