BGG.con ... a designer and his dad.
Oliver Harrison
Canada
Kamloops
British Columbia
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I'm starting to get the hang of going to board game conventions. A checklist for all those unititiated:

a) Sleep plenty at home before you leave. Sleep at work (no BGG surfing), during dinner, at traffic lights, in school. Sleep extra hard when sleeping.
b) Don't bring games. Bring 2 spare, empty bags. Big ones.
c) Bring an empty water bottle.
d) Bring money. If you buy 12 games x $30 (approx), that is $360.. plus all your food. Unless you simply eat Doritos, in which case, $400 might do it.
e) If the flea market opens at 10am, bring a game to play in line and be there by 9am. At the latest. Get out your extra-pointy elbows and play 40 games of Pit the night before to be ready.

My dad's come with me to two cons now; GenCon last year and BGG.con this year. BGG was by far the better of the two. However, keep in mind, I went to the 'wrong' GenCon - in LA, where its mostly CCGs and RPGs. Whoops.

Before you read the list, I want to say thanks to everyone who helped organize this fantastic event, most notably Derk and Aldie, but also all those people who spent time helping out at the desk, the people who helped in the game library, and everyone who let me win the occasional game.

These are my experiences...
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1. Board Game: Flightplan [Average Rating:5.61 Unranked]
Oliver Harrison
Canada
Kamloops
British Columbia
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We get up at the ungodly hour of 4:15am in order to make our 7am flight. Thank all the gods for my extra-potent espresso. What did I ever do before it? Coffee is like weak tea to me now.
 
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2. Board Game: Dallas Scene [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Oliver Harrison
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Kamloops
British Columbia
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Ah, the beautiful Dallas airport. The interesting sculpture... ah whatever, let's get to the Westin. We hop in a cab and 4 of us (including Tim & Dave, 2 other Calgarians... yahoooooo!) head to the con. No time to waste waiting for a free shuttle.
 
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3. Board Game: Supernova [Average Rating:6.07 Overall Rank:5080]
Oliver Harrison
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Kamloops
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The gaming begins...

As Tim and Dave were interested in trying it out, I pulled out Supernova. We waited for a bit to see if anyone wanted to join, but the crowd wasn't too full yet. I taught (and participated in) a 3 player game. We had a blast, but again, I didn't win. Can't remember if Tim or Dave did... hmmmm.
 
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4. Board Game: It's Alive! [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:2610]
Oliver Harrison
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Kamloops
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I had been meaning to get this to the table and my dad and I sat down to play a game. It turns out Yehuda was there (who knew?) and he quickly ran us through the rules, along with 2 other players. Maybe my dad is amazingly good at strategizing, or simply that none of us knew the value of our body parts (if I had a penny for every time I've said that...), but he kicked my ass but good. I came in a distant 4th. Even Yehuda thought that I finished poorly.... hehe.
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5. Board Game: No Time to Waste [Average Rating:3.50 Unranked]
Oliver Harrison
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Kamloops
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It turns out I DID have some time to waste, so I wandered around for a while in the afternoon, checking games out of the library and reading some rules, trying to decide what to play next. We went for dinner at the excellent Grill at the Westin, then got back to it.
 
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6. Board Game: Supernova [Average Rating:6.07 Overall Rank:5080]
Oliver Harrison
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Kamloops
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Yep, another game of Supernova. This time, I taught a 5 player game and watched, giving strategy hints here and there. This one got pretty nasty and was pretty confrontational right out of the gate. Cool.
 
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7. Board Game: Buy Low Sell High [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:3296]
Oliver Harrison
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Kamloops
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I got this game for free when I drew a blue ticket. Sweet! I had actually had this on my wishlist for some time. I'm a sucker for lightweight stock/market/speculation games. This looked to be right up my alley.

And it is... I played a 2 player game and won (woohoo!). I can see how it would be a bit more chaotic, but also likely more enjoyable (in spite of the chaos) for it. Nonetheless, I eventually gave this away to Khrys - enjoy!
 
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8. Board Game: Freddy Vs Jason Killer Trivia Game [Average Rating:7.40 Unranked]
Oliver Harrison
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Kamloops
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Friday was a pretty big gameday. To be completely prepared, I went to bed at 1am - early, I know - and got up at 8:45. My dad and I, since I am such a big cheapo, stayed at the Days Inn, about 2 blocks away. I was enticed by the offer of free wireless internet (though eventually didn't even bring my laptop..sigh) and free breakfast. Seeing as how we didn't check, we didn't know that the breakfast offer ended at 9... meaning that we had to buy breakfast at the Westin that morning anyway. Oh well.

I had a teaching game of Supernova set up for 10am and had to postpone it slightly until 10:30 (mrhmhrmph.. eating). Sorry guys!
 
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9. Board Game: Supernova [Average Rating:6.07 Overall Rank:5080]
Oliver Harrison
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Kamloops
British Columbia
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And it began again.. Another 5 player teaching game. For those that played, chime in with your thoughts.

This one was slightly less confrontational at first, but got more and more so as the game ran on. Lots of fun.
 
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10. Board Game: Shark [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:1775]
Oliver Harrison
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Kamloops
British Columbia
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Once they had a handle on the rules, I sat down nearby with a copy of Shark and played a 2 player game. This is another one I've been trying to get for less than $55 (2001 Ravensburger edition, preferably) somehow. I've finally got a line on one in Canada and will pick it up once they get Thebes in - trying to save on shipping.

This was great. Even as a 2 player, I can see how awesome it'll be with more. And with more plays as a 2 player game, too. In spite of one of the core mechanics being dice, it doesn't feel random or chaotic in the least. Difficult, tense decisions to make here. I loved it.
 
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11. Board Game: Venus Needs Men [Average Rating:6.06 Overall Rank:9111]
Oliver Harrison
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Kamloops
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Once Supernova was over, we decided to break out VNM. I bought a copy from the designer a while back, rules unread, knowing it's a chaotic game. Wow, was I unprepared. Although the boxart and premise is phenomenal, the gameplay is... stunted. Until your opponents run out of Zap! cards, there are very few turns that pass where you actually get to do what you intended. Although I'm pretty easy-going, chaos-wise, this was a bit too much for me. Game trade pile, here it comes!
 
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12. Board Game: Claim It! [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:5557]
Oliver Harrison
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Kamloops
British Columbia
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A favourite that I picked up at GenCon last year. Fun, fast and light, in the vein of Can't Stop! I carry it around all over with me - you don't need the box, just a small bag for the bits and the board. This would be even better if the board was a quad-fold as it'd be even smaller.

Fun game.
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13. Board Game: El Capitán [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:1251]
Oliver Harrison
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Kamloops
British Columbia
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We pulled this out immediately after Claim It. Maybe it was simply the three of us, maybe it was the massive switch in game style... this *really* didn't click for us. We got about 2 turns in before we packed it up. It looks fan-freaking-tastic (but for some somewhat hard-to-read scripty font) but MAN is this game dull. Correct me if I'm wrong, (I often am...) but is there anything else to do in this game, other than build a warehouse or fortress?

My game summary:

Move ship, build something. Your turn. Move ship, build something. Go. Huh? my turn already? Okayyyy... I'm going to move my ship. Oh! and build something. zzzzZZZZZZ. If the board were a MAP or something a little more interesting to look at (no fault of Mike Doyle's..), I may be more inclined. I won't rate it as I know we didn't really give it a fair shake, and I'm sure there's a game in there. Somewhere.
 
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14. Board Game: Vikings [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:308]
 
Oliver Harrison
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Kamloops
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I tend to suck at games I haven't played before. Vikings was no different. Still, as a light market/speculation game, it's pretty cool. It didn't disappoint, but I think it wasn't quite up to the level of awesomeness as I'd hoped. Possibly because there really wasn't any pillaging/raiding. Sigh. Maybe Fire & Axe?
 
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15. Board Game: Santiago [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:522]
Oliver Harrison
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Kamloops
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I brought this out and taught it as it's one of my all-time faves. Another 4 player game; since 2 players hadn't played it before, it was a lot nicer than usual. We were all helping each other... yay!! Wait till their 10th time playing. Heh.

I thought I'd actually won this one.. for about 2 minutes. After a quick recount, it turns out I was beaten by 1 point. Sigh. Can't catch a break.
 
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16. Board Game: MonkeyWinks [Average Rating:6.50 Unranked]
Oliver Harrison
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Kamloops
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Tired, I headed back to the Days Inn... and managed to get 30 winks in time to get up and not miss free breakfast.
 
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17. Board Game: Supernova [Average Rating:6.07 Overall Rank:5080]
Oliver Harrison
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Kamloops
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Another day, another game of Supernova. This time, we played the new 'short' version of the game. This was a 4 player game with only 6 rounds.
 
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18. Board Game: Oregon [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:986]
Oliver Harrison
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Kamloops
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Got in on a game of this before the Flea Market began.. but we cancelled it to go find some bargains.

This seems pretty clever, with some interesting ideas. Pretty light, but if you like your games light and abstracted, this will feel good. Great non-gamers/family game, imo.
 
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19. Board Game: Mykerinos [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:788]
Oliver Harrison
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Kamloops
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I got this for $10 - and am still kicking myself for not dickering, even a little. Ah well - it's $27 at home, so it's still a good deal. I ended up getting the Nile expansion for it as well for $4 (from Jay Tummelson). Nice!

The only other steal I got at the Flea Market was Mag Blast 3ed. for $5. Cool! I've owned and played the 2ed in the past and couldn't pass up that for so cheap.
 
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20. Board Game: Castle Merchants [Average Rating:5.78 Overall Rank:7426]
Oliver Harrison
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I wanted to try this out for two reasons; it's apparently a light pickup/deliver race game (both of which I enjoy) and it was $10 at the Z-Man booth. Cool.

We got it on the table and off of the table in about 12 minutes. No one really liked it at all. Unfortunately, we just found it uninteresting. Too many other games to try, not enough time... so back in the box it goes.
 
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21. Board Game: Thebes [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:375]
Oliver Harrison
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Kamloops
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Possibly the star of the show, in my opinion. We played a 4 player game of this... man was it fun. I love the time and digging mechanic (so apt - I dug around in that bag like my life depended on it). Very fun, possibly one of the better non-gamer/family/gateway games I've come across.. that isn't TtR.

We're playing games this Friday again with some non-gamers, and I suspect this will hit the table.
 
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22. Board Game: Gheos [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1683]
Oliver Harrison
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What a great game! Tense, difficult decisions. I love it. I especially love screwing over the person to my left, knowing they're about to score with their hordes of green followers. (insert evil cackle here)

The real awesome thing about this is that my dad won the 9 game (thanks Zev!!!) Z-Man bundle, so we got this, Midgard, Parthenon, and a bunch of smaller card games. So I took it and Midgard home. (my dad is awesome.. )
 
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23. Board Game: Midgard [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1978]
Oliver Harrison
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Kamloops
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I've had my eye on this for a while but always had other games come up for some reason or another and never got to try it out. Well seeing as how we won it, there really wasn't any good reason not to try it.

We had a great time with this game - and we didn't even draft the cards. Now that I know how to play it, can really see the drafting adding another layer to it. Lots of fun, and I'm glad to have it.. it'll certainly hit the table some.
 
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24. Board Game: Big Sunday Football [Average Rating:5.45 Unranked]
Oliver Harrison
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Kamloops
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The Cowboys were everywhere on Sunday. Jerseys, previews, updates everywhere I looked. Good thing they won, otherwise there'd have been a lot of upset Dallasians.

I can't even remember what we played Sunday morning... Amyitis (a short game of it) and... ??? Anyway, I was just glad to head on home, bag of games and a pad of notes in tow.

Thanks to everyone who organized, attended and was involved with such a wonderful event. I had a great time gaming with everyone, and am happy to have met even a handful of you. I love this hobby.
 
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