Denise's BIG / Indy Mini-Con / Indy Boardgame Con 3/14-16 Games
Denise Lavely
United States
Carmel
Indiana
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Whatever you want to call this convention, it was an AWESOME time! 19 games in 48 hours, plus I came home with new games from the math trade & a raffle prize game. For the first year of a new convention, everything went remarkably smoothly and I think we had about 75 attendees all in all. Special thanks to Dave and Tami Koch for making it happen, and I'm really looking forward to next year!!
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1. Board Game: Wits & Wagers [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:500]
Denise Lavely
United States
Carmel
Indiana
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I got to the con just before 4PM to bring some door signs & get checked into the hotel, but didn't get involved in any games because I was waiting for my husband to show up with the kids. But I got to check out the convention room and see the HUGE collection of games in the games library - we probably had close to 300 games piled high on the tables or in laundry baskets or boxes under the table. I personally brought 43 games to share, and I think they mostly got lost in the shuffle simply because there were SO MANY TO CHOOSE FROM!!

But finally hubby showed up, and I helped him get the kids in the room until our babysitter came. This was not only the opening night of the convention, but also our monthly date night!! So we slipped out for dinner before heading back to the con just in time to get into Shea's Wits & Wagers Game Show with questions relating only to Indianapolis or boardgames. Our team was me, husband Darren, and Steph and we lost miserably with 8 points to the winning team's 70-something I think. Sorry we weren't more helpful, Steph!! Still, this was great fun & everyone laughed and had a super time - a great way to start the con!!
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2. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:73]
Denise Lavely
United States
Carmel
Indiana
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After the game show fiasco, we decided to move on and create a fiasco of our own with deadly viruses. Husband Darren's not a gamer, but he does like cooperative games sometimes, so I'd been really wanting to try this with him, and we also got our friend Chris and his daughter Zoe to join us. We got clobbered early on - I was the fourth player, and by the time my first turn came around we were already on our fourth outbreak because of SO many blue cards coming up in the intial set-up and the early cards. Oh, and the very first cards we drew was an epidemic, that didn't help much either. I think we managed to find one cure before the viruses took over the world.

Still, it was a hit - after we went to bed that night, I said to Darren, "I want to go play Pandemic again now," and he said "Me too" so now he's letting me go out and buy it today! Yay!!!
 
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3. Board Game: Rebs & Yanks [Average Rating:4.92 Unranked]
Denise Lavely
United States
Carmel
Indiana
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Almost forgot!! Max of Stratamax Games was there demoing his new designs, and also very sweetly brought several cases of Rebs & Yanks to hand out to all attendees - thanks Max!! We picked up our copy Friday night when we got back from dinner.
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4. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:73]
Denise Lavely
United States
Carmel
Indiana
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Saturday morning first thing, Dave & Tami had asked me to come down (since I am a known early riser) and man the door for a few hours since we were expecting some attendees to show up bright and early. So I sat at the front desk and read the rules for Primordial Soup, FlowerPower, and Twilight Struggle. Once Kevin and Andrew and I think Ross showed up, though, we started another game of Pandemic. This one started out much easier than the Friday night game, no outbreaks until fairly late in the game. We were SURE we had it nailed - until suddenly a billion blue cards came out of the middle of the deck and we ran out of blue cubes.
 
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5. Board Game: In the Year of the Dragon [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:220]
Denise Lavely
United States
Carmel
Indiana
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Got in my second play of Year of the Dragon. In my first game, I'd ended up coming in second, 2 points behind the first place player by ignoring the mad race for fireworks that everyone else seemed to be engaged in. I tried that again in this game, and it worked pretty well, except I ended up second, about 10 points behind the first place player (good job Andrew!). Moral of the story - ignore fireworks when everyone is madly dashing for them, but when only one person is looking at fireworks, they can get too far ahead! I still made a few mistakes, but not as bad as my first game, except I STILL took the scholar too late to get any benefit from him.
 
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6. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:49]
Denise Lavely
United States
Carmel
Indiana
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After Year of the Dragon, Dave D. and I got into a game of Race for the Galaxy. Both of us had only played one time before, so we fumbled about a bit. I got very lucky in the early card draws and found myself with an inadvertent rare earth machine that was letting me produce a bunch of rare earth cheaply and turn it into lots of points. So I ended up beating Dave by quite a bit, but I'm not sure how! I liked this better on the second play than I had on the first, and I'm thinking now that I'm going to have to pick this one up - there's a lot going on here, it will take several plays before I can get a real sense for it.
 
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7. Board Game: Shogun [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:127]
Denise Lavely
United States
Carmel
Indiana
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Next up came the official swap time for the Math Trade that Shea had set up in the previous week. I had aimed very high with many of my trades, and was not expecting much. I knew I was going to be getting Twilight Struggle from Dave for Primordial Soup, because that was pretty much a targeted trade, and I HOPED to get Zooloretto for Entdecker to play with my daughter, but I figured that would be it.

But nope, it was my lucky day! I had put in my copy of Amun-Re not knowing that it's between printings right now. It ended up being a very popular item that a lot of people bid for and I ended up getting a new in shrink copy of Shogun for it!!! I STILL can't believe that luck!!

In addition, I also got Frog Juice and Kaboodl for my daughter by trading Smarty Party, and also a lot of 3 Ravensburger games for my extra copy of Metro, thus making my kids very very happy!
 
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8. Board Game: Dragon Parade [Average Rating:5.76 Overall Rank:5960]
Denise Lavely
United States
Carmel
Indiana
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After the resolution of the Math Trade, we drew names for the raffle prizes. The raffle was set up like this - there were 35 games with numbered stickers on them. Everyone had a certain number of tickets and you dropped your ticket in the numbered box that corresponded to the numbered game you wanted. Some boxes were very full, some were very empty. I hoped to win Dragon Parade because my daughter would love the theme, and even though she's a little younger than the age on the box, I think she could handle this one. I got lucky and won!! Thanks Z-Man Games for donating this among other games!
 
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9. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.35 Overall Rank:4]
Denise Lavely
United States
Carmel
Indiana
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Kevin had offered earlier to play this with me, and it's long enough that I KNOW that if I didn't get in the first play at a con or somewhere when I had TIME and no kids around, it would never hit the table, so I was glad to take him up on it. Neither of us had played before - he had played 1960, and I had read the Twilight Struggle rulebook once, so we made more than a few mistakes Still, I think by the end of the game we had worked out the major details. This was a long game, probably about 4 hours with going over the rules and interruptions and all, but the gameplay goes very fast. Part of me wanted to sit down and play it again as soon as we were done. Very much looking forward to my second play, and hoping to get my husband to try it with me!
 
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10. Board Game: Blockers! [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:1374]
Denise Lavely
United States
Carmel
Indiana
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After Twilight, I ducked out for a bit of supper with my family, and to spend a little time with my toddler, who was missing Mommy pretty bad by this point. After I got him happy but still to wound to sleep, Daddy kindly offered to play with him for a bit to wear him out while I slipped back down for another game. "Just make it a short one" was Daddy's only request, so I did. Shea and Angie had won Uptown in the raffle, so Chris and Ross and I helped them punch the bits and give this one a go. I had a GREAT strategy that was completely foiled by everyone else Still, a very nice little filler!
 
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11. Board Game: Werewolf [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1165]
Denise Lavely
United States
Carmel
Indiana
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After Uptown, I went up & got baby off to sleep, then came back down for MORE GAMES! Having only played live Werewolf 5 player, a couple of times, and not being very fond of it, I wasn't really excited about playing this time, but they were one short, so I agreed. (Then someone else quit, so I should have just stayed out of it! ) We played two games, I was a villager both times, we won both times. I have to say it was more fun than I was expecting, but I think now that I've done 15 player live WW, I can just stick to online. It's way more fun when you have a full day between lynches to work yourself up into a paranoid frenzy !!
 
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12. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:73]
Denise Lavely
United States
Carmel
Indiana
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Yes, this AGAIN - my most played game of the con!! 4 player again - THIS time we lost by running out of cards, so while I still can't say I've ever WON, I can say I've lost in all the possible ways!!!
 
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13. Board Game: Oasis [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1245]
Denise Lavely
United States
Carmel
Indiana
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It was after midnight now, and we wanted one last game, but we wanted one that we all knew. So Cara and Zoe and I got out Oasis, which is one of Zoe's favorites. And as usual, she won, 145 points to my 135. Cara was back around 105 points somewhere. Always a good game.
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14. Board Game: Hansa [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:710]
Denise Lavely
United States
Carmel
Indiana
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Sunday morning and even though I had gone to bed at 2AM, I was back awake at 7:30 - I just CAN'T sleep in the mornings!! Unlike Saturday, though, there were not too many people up at this hour and I was forced to eat breakfast and pack up our cars and all that before I finally was able to get in a game. 4 player Hansa with Shawn, Ross, and Andrew. Good tight game all the way through for all but Shawn, who trailed behind a bit. Ross took the lead on the very last turn with a lucky refresh that let him take several blue goods and turn them all at the last city for an extra 10 points or so, catapulting him to the win. Andrew was two points behind him and I was two points behind Andrew.
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15. Board Game: Primordial Soup [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:680]
Denise Lavely
United States
Carmel
Indiana
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I had been promising Dave K since before the con even started that I'd teach him this one, finally we got a chance to do it. Dave, Ross, Zoe and I all got to say 'poop' more often than any board game should ever allow. We only played to 30 points as we needed to finish early so we could get to some other gaming commitments, but that was long enough for me. I like this game ok, but it's fiddly.
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16. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:17]
Denise Lavely
United States
Carmel
Indiana
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Finally we got out Dave D's German paste up version of Agricola. I wanted to play for my second time since Dec, and I wanted to teach Zoe as I thought she'd like it. Ross kindly agreed to teach the game since he had just played it the day before. I made the dumb fool mistake of ignoring food early on and trying to set up an overly elaborate improvement-occupation chain to let me build a bigger better house. Byt the time I realized that it wasn't going to work, it was too late, I'd already shot myself in the foot. For the rest of the game, I was scrambling to get food and get a few minor pastures and animals so I wouldn't end up in negative points. I ended up with a whopping 8 points!! Just goes to show you - Agricola is not the best game for the END of the convention!! Ross got I believe 48 points, which I think he said was a new record for him.
 
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17. Board Game: Flowerpower [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:2426]
Denise Lavely
United States
Carmel
Indiana
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Finally, you know it's a good convention when you have a great time every single moment and you walk away ready to play another dozen. There were a number of games that I had hoped would hit the table but sadly didn't. Someone (and I'm so sorry, I forget your name, but PM me and I'll play you next time we meet up at Dave's!!) asked me to teach them Flowerpower, and I reviewed the rules and everything, but we just never hooked up. I had brought Industria with every intention of getting it on the table, and had even lined up other players, but we just ran out of time. I'd also really wanted to try Hamburgum, but so such luck. And if there had been time, I would gladly have tried 1960, Duel in the Dark, Amyitis, Through the Ages, and probably could have played for another week easily !!!!


Thanks again to Dave & Tami for organizing this!! Best con EVAR!!!
 
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