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BorderCon 2016 - Games played
Anna T
Australia
Melbourne
Victoria
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Going into BorderCon (June 2016), having never attended before, I had no idea what to expect. Would everyone be playing super hard-out games that I wouldn't understand? Would everyone already know each other and be in tight gamer cliques? Being relatively new to tabletop gaming, would I be unable to cope with four days of gaming? Would I wander tables endlessly, finding nothing to play?

Fortunately, the answer to all of these was a solid no. Everyone was super welcoming, and talented at teaching games. There were lots of opportunities to play, and as was quickly explained to me: players are looking for you as much as you are looking for them!

I was a bit gutted not to find opportunities to try out Viticulture, Mombasa, Le Havre, or Caverna, but I've now realised you can use BGG to line games up in advance (hence joining BGG now!). Took the opportunity to snap up a copy of Caylus too (will have to teach myself how to play). Also picked up copies of Splendor & Cacao (itemised below), and learnt how the Math Trade works.

Note to self for future convention attendance: get more than four hours' sleep per night!

Massive thanks to my roadtrip buddies (especially for tolerating me at my tired & grumpy worst!), the organisers of BorderCon, the venue crew, and everyone who attended. Hopefully see you next year!

Quick list of what I played (in chronological order) below, for my records.
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1. Board Game: Cacao [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:511]
Anna T
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My first game of BorderCon was Cacao on Friday afternoon with Lydia, Ryan & Trent. Also my second-ever go at a tile-laying game. Very cute - purchased.
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2. Board Game: Witness [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:701]
Anna T
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I then moved onto a couple of rounds of Witness with Christian, Lydia & Trent. The first round was very easy, and we all got the answers with relative ease. The second round, involving imaging train track layouts, was more of a brain burner! This would definitely be a fun game for dinner parties and such.
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3. Board Game: Churchill [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:516]
Anna T
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Next up was Churchill with Christian & Ryan. I'd never played a game like this before, so it took a couple of rounds to get my head around the mechanics. (I.e., about half the game since we were playing in tournament mode - sorry guys!) It wasn't really my type of game, but was still interesting. I even won (thanks to the guys going easy on me, and some fairly mean ganging up hehe).
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4. Board Game: Durak [Average Rating:6.32 Overall Rank:6567]
Anna T
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As it was now getting later into the evening, I moved onto some lighter games. I learnt the Russian card game Durak care of Lydia (can't remember who else... I think Andrew, Edwin, Sui, and someone else?). This is a very brutal game, and will definitely be happening on future slow afternoons/camping trips. Bonus that you can play it with a normal pack of cards.
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5. Board Game: Spot it! [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:911] [Average Rating:6.68 Unranked]
Anna T
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Also played some forwards/reverse games of Spot it!, which took zero learning but significant effort (especially after some beers)!
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6. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.01 Overall Rank:22]
Anna T
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Saturday was dedicated more to Euro-style games. I started the day being utterly out-classed in a game of Agricola with Uwe-uber-fan Kerrin and the crew of Anna, Joseph & Phil. Joseph had a particularly effective/terrifying early house-building strategy - well played.
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7. Board Game: Istanbul: Mocha & Baksheesh [Average Rating:7.98 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.98 Unranked]
Anna T
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Following this (and a couple of crew changes), we moved onto some lighter fare, playing Istanbul then Istanbul: Mocha & Baksheesh. This was also my first time attempting to teach a game at BorderCon - hopefully made sense to the others! Hadn't played Mocha & Baksheesh before, and it was a nice addition. Definitely going to need to play it again before I figure out the most efficient trading paths!
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8. Board Game: Finca [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:549]
Anna T
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It was then time for my first game of Finca, which is a delightful (and cute) game. Looking forward to when it gets reprinted.
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9. Board Game: Splendor [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:121]
Anna T
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At this point, the games list has to be interrupted in favour of noting that there's an amazingly good value Indian restaurant in town, which has the Greatest Peshwari Naan of All Time. Dinner was A+ awesome.

Back to the games rooms, and a few rounds of Splendor (with Lydia, Paul & Melissa). Definitely hard to learn a new game on an overly-full stomach, but luckily it's a quick game to pick up. Really enjoyed this, and ended up buying it over the course of the weekend, as I think it will be a good game to tempt non-gamer friends into the hobby devil
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10. Board Game: Telestrations After Dark [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:2021]
Anna T
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Then moved onto the party games portion of the night - Durak, Spot It!, and Telestrations After Dark with a large crew. Bed at 3.30am oops...
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11. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:80]
Anna T
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Emerging rather late on Sunday morning, and slightly hungover/sheepish after Telestrations After Dark drawings, I quickly bought a whole lot of raffle tickets, all of which turned out to be utterly useless. C'est la vie - and good to support the Con anyway.

I suffered through a warm-up of Splendor, then straight into Stone Age (with Lydia, Ryan & Anna). This was my first time playing, so I experimented with doing a few fairly random moves to see how things played out... with varying success. Will definitely play again, as I enjoy light-weight Eurogames.
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12. Board Game: Alpaca Pakapaka [Average Rating:6.24 Overall Rank:10770]
Anna T
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At this point, it was clear that I needed a nap. That done, I played a quick game of Alpaca Pacapaca (brought by Aaron), which was cute.
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13. Board Game: Glory to Rome [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:155]
Anna T
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Alpaca Pacapaca was followed by the more complex Glory to Rome, which I enjoyed (although was still braindead enough to be nowhere near competitive). Somewhat gutted that it's pretty much impossible to buy (at least, for a reasonable price!). Thanks for the patient teaching, Aaron!
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14. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:33]
Anna T
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I was then pulled into my second-ever game of Power Grid (German map) with Jake, Kirit & Madison. This was a great game, and ended with a very close race to the finish. Thanks for being such a good sport in the face of some brutal collusion, Jake!
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15. Board Game: Auf Teufel komm raus [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:3451]
Anna T
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By now, it was quite late, so I joined a larger crew to play some party games, starting with the betting game Auf Teufel Komm Raus. Played this one far too conservatively, whoops.
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16. Board Game: Kakerlakenpoker Royal [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:1611]
Anna T
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This was followed by a couple of games of Kakerlakenpoker Royal, and the realisation that I really suck at bluffing.
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17. Board Game: American Rails [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:1213]
Anna T
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The final day of the Con meant that I only had a few hours of playing time left. I warmed up with yet another game of Splendor, then moved onto American Rails with Christian, Lydia, Rahn & Rob. This was my first train game, so I only did adequately, but found it really interesting. Now that I know how it goes, I will definitely play again.
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