BGG Con 2009 - Scoutmom Runs Away From Home and Learns a Valuable Lesson
Cindy Nowak
United States
Kenosha
Wisconsin
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Yes, yes, I know. BGG Con has been over for a few days and the buzz is fading. Sigh.....well.....I'm going to do this anyway because I know if I don't, I will regret it.

This was my first time at BGG Con - and I had a blast! I played lots of games, watched some more, met "old friends" for the first time and made some new ones.

I meant to do this as while I was still at BGG Con. Honest. I brought a netbook with. I had internet access....but I was too busy having fun. I learned that that was what was really important and so waited until I got home and had a bit of time to put this together.

Enough blathering...here's my list...
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1. Board Game: I've got a Secret [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Cindy Nowak
United States
Kenosha
Wisconsin
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My family thinks I headed to Dallas for training. Actually, what I said was I am going to Dallas to learn lots of new things. And it's the truth!
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2. Board Game: The Wizard of Oz Yellow Brick Road Game [Average Rating:3.79 Unranked]
Cindy Nowak
United States
Kenosha
Wisconsin
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I met so many wonderful people, and learned so many wonderful games...some of you I 'know' from here, others were brand new friends...I felt kind of like Dorothy

Dorothy: Oh, you're the best friends anybody ever had. And it's funny, but I feel as if I'd known you all the time, but I couldn't have, could I?
Scarecrow: I don't see how. You weren't around when I was stuffed and sewn together, were you?
Tin Woodsman: And I was standing over there, rusting for the longest time.
Dorothy: Still, I wish I could remember, but I guess it doesn't matter anyway. We know each other now, don't we?
Scarecrow: That's right.
Tin Woodsman: We do.
Scarecrow: To Oz?
Tin Woodsman: To Oz.

Now I'm off to game at BGG Con...and here is what I did
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3. Board Game: Pack & Stack [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:1618]
Cindy Nowak
United States
Kenosha
Wisconsin
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I arrived Thursday evening. After checking into my room, I headed downstairs to scope things out. Wouldn't you know, within 5 minutes I was sitting down for a game of Pack & Stack. Two in fact. What did I learn? I am incredibly challenged in the area of spatial perception. I could have SWORN that piece would fit in the truck!
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4. Board Game: Archaeology: The Card Game [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:1119]
Cindy Nowak
United States
Kenosha
Wisconsin
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Ohhhhh, ancient Egypt! Hey, did you know it's important to not only pay attention to your cards, but to what the other guys play? I learned that lesson! Still liked the game though.
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5. Board Game: Mr. Jack in New York [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:609]
Cindy Nowak
United States
Kenosha
Wisconsin
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I had been dying to play this game. The original Mr. Jack is my all time favorite game - I've played it over a hundred times. And I've learned that this one is almost as much fun.

This was my first time playing - I was Jack. After making what I thought was a fatal error I learned that what's in your mind isn't always what the other player sees.

Jack escaped!
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6. Board Game: Zulus on the Ramparts! [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:1420]
Cindy Nowak
United States
Kenosha
Wisconsin
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Thursday morning I headed down to breakfast. After enjoying the tasty buffet, I took a friend up on an offer to teach me Zulus on the Ramparts. Although I have had the game up and running several times, I always seemed to get hung up on a couple of things.

So, while we waited for the registration line to move, I learned. Got within a few cards of the Reinforcement event before those Zulus overran me. But - I learned what I needed and really, truly enjoyed it.
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7. Board Game: The Winning Ticket [Average Rating:5.89 Overall Rank:12540]
Cindy Nowak
United States
Kenosha
Wisconsin
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After the Zulus game, the line was just about gone, so away we went. Right up to the front and after meeting Dirk and Aldie, I drew for my ticket...green!! Woo hoo!! Off to the "good" room.



The Queen Game I won was Robber Knights. Unfortunately, by the time BGG Con was over, I had no room in my luggage and I left it on a table in the lobby, free to a good home. If you found my game - I hope you enjoy it!
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8. Board Game: Combat Commander: Battle Pack #2 – Stalingrad [Average Rating:8.40 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.40 Unranked]
Cindy Nowak
United States
Kenosha
Wisconsin
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Now, off to turn in my green ticket and reap my reward. I learned it is important to look at everything before you make a decision. After looking at quite a few nice choices, I turned to leave when I suddenly spied the familiar GMT logo - and what's this? OMG! The Battle pack I actually have in my shopping cart in my online account! Yes!! Oh, oh, oh!!! I am a happy girl! What an incredibly awesome prize.
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9. Board Game: 18West [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:6887]
Cindy Nowak
United States
Kenosha
Wisconsin
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Now, I didn't actually play this game. I did learn, however, that while this is a game that was a lot of fun to watch - and fun to play for the guys in the group - it is NOT a game for people new to 18XX. After watching for about an hour, the vendor area opened up, so away I went to check things out.
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10. Board Game Publisher: Z-Man Games
Cindy Nowak
United States
Kenosha
Wisconsin
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First up was the Z-Man game booth....people swarming everywhere. But run very well with one line for cash and one for credit cards. I learned that organization and preparation are very important for a smooth operation.
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11. Board Game: Campaign Manager 2008 [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:1227]
Cindy Nowak
United States
Kenosha
Wisconsin
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I also learned that 2010 doesn't mean 2010. Sometimes, if you're at BGG Con, it means NOW!

I had the chance to see this at Origins, and have been eagerly awaiting it. And there it was. I grabbed a copy and headed back to my bag over at the 18West table. A friend saw I had it in my hand. Out came the wallet and with a pair of pleading eyes staring up at me, I learned I can't say no. Back to the Z-Man table to pick a copy up for them as well....


Watched Zev demo this - can't wait to get it to the table myself!






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12. Board Game: Dungeon Lords [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:182]
Cindy Nowak
United States
Kenosha
Wisconsin
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I also learned you shouldn't promise to pick up a game for someone if you aren't sure it's going to fit in your luggage. I was tasked with picking up a copy of this to cart back with me for one of the folks in my regular Friday night game group. After a few text messages back and forth - while he got permission from his fiance - I added it to my stack.

I will learn this one very soon!
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13. Board Game: The BoardGameGeek Game [Average Rating:6.04 Overall Rank:4191]
Cindy Nowak
United States
Kenosha
Wisconsin
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Next up was the Thoughthammer booth. I learned that when you're doing this for the first time, there might be some kinks in the process. I was fortunate enough to get a copy of the game. Unfortunately, I was far enough back in line that it took two hours to make it to the register.

But I also learned that my fellow geeks are great and the time just flew as we all chatted. I got to meet some "old" friends for the first time! Say "Hey" Willie Mays!
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14. Board Game: 18West [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:6887]
Cindy Nowak
United States
Kenosha
Wisconsin
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Back to the table to watch some more of this - now into hour 3....and 4...and 5...and...

Six hours later, I learned that I need to start with a shorter game my first time out! Really looking forward to learning and playing 18XX
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15. Board Game: Tobago [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:389]
Cindy Nowak
United States
Kenosha
Wisconsin
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Wow, what a neat game this was. I love the fact that the three piece board is two sided, which means there are ...ummmmm...a bunch...yeah, that's it, a bunch of different layout options. (I didn't need to learn that I have issues with math when it comes to calculations - that I knew already!)

Great game, lots of fun. Definite replayability. This one is going on my wish list!


ATV meeples, idols and more
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16. Board Game: Protector of the Empire [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Cindy Nowak
United States
Kenosha
Wisconsin
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Ran into
Pete Belli
United States
Florida
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designer
"If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."
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and his wife Susan. I learned he's as nice in person as he is online. And clever, too! This looks like a game that is going to be a lot of fun. While you could call it "Risk-esque" there is so much more going on here.

Thanks Pete for sharing your creativity!
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17. Board Game: Combat Commander: Europe [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:103]
Cindy Nowak
United States
Kenosha
Wisconsin
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Had the opportunity to sit down with
Richard Pardoe
United States
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to play Scenario 3, Bonfire of the NKVD.

I already knew how much I liked Combat Commander. I learned that Rich is as quick with the knowledge and the rules in person as he is online. It's great to be able to play with someone who is patient with a new player. And although I really did already know it, I learned you can get your butt kicked in a game and still have a blast.

Thanks Rich!


Notice the shirt he's wearing. What a way to troll for opponents!
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18. Board Game: Finca [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:537]
Cindy Nowak
United States
Kenosha
Wisconsin
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Friday morning after breakfast, I headed to the library to grab a copy of Finca. I had the chance to play it at Origins, and wanted to give it a try again.

I learned that it is an even better game with four players than it is with two. I also learned that when you put Combat Commander and Finca boxes on the table next to each other, you get some strange looks and silly comments. Combat Finca? How does that work - you ride your donkeys into battle and launch figs out of the mortars?



Inky Girl caught a picture of me getting the game ready to go with Tim, Cal and Michael.
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19. Board Game: The Hell of Stalingrad [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:3413]
Cindy Nowak
United States
Kenosha
Wisconsin
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I love this game more all the time. It is amazing - especially since it can accommodate from 1-4 players. Having sat down with designer Steve Cunliffe at Origins, my appreciation for this has grown ever since.

Steve was there with a group of four - playings as teams of two. I learned that having the opportunity to trade cards with a teammate adds a whole new dimension to the game.

Having just completed the book Enemy at the Gates I found that I saw much more clearly how well this game portrays the struggle.


Game designer Steve Cunliffe explaining rules and strategy to
Rusty McFisticuffs
United States
Arcata
California
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20. Board Game: Combat Commander: Battle Pack #1 – Paratroopers [Average Rating:8.27 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.27 Unranked]
Cindy Nowak
United States
Kenosha
Wisconsin
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More Combat Commander - Scenario 33 from the Paratroop battle pack. My opponent was
German Mike
United States
Hudson
Ohio
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This time I played as the Germans. I didn't need to learn that Combat Commander is a great game, or that things can change in an instant. I learned that reading all those rules questions here on the Geek can come in handy, as the line of sight along the map edge actually came up in this game. Cool!

Thanks for playing, Mike!
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21. Board Game: 2 de Mayo [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:1036]
Cindy Nowak
United States
Kenosha
Wisconsin
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I stayed in the Oak Room for a game of 2 de Mayo. I have played this game a few times now - both as the Spanish and the French. I learned that the updated version of the game has a bigger sheet to write your orders on (yea!) and that the new board is nicely marked now to not only indicate set-up, but also where reinforcements may enter. (double yea!).


Photo by Lothartvni

There I am in the background taking this picture of the board set up!



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22. Board Game: BasketBoss [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:2971]
Cindy Nowak
United States
Kenosha
Wisconsin
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I am NOT a fan of basketball. I AM a fan of boardgames. I learned I am a fan of basketball themed boardgames! Played a 4 player game after a brief rules explanation and quite enjoyed it. While I don't think it is a game I would buy, it is certainly one I will play when it is offered.

And who knows...
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23. Board Game: The Adventurers: The Temple of Chac [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1093]
Cindy Nowak
United States
Kenosha
Wisconsin
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I AM a fan of Indiana Jones. I am NOT a huge fan of this game. There were really high hopes for this - it has hidden treasure, lava, waterfalls, rickety bridges, walls closing in and a rolling boulder.

I had really been looking forward to this one - especially after seeing a few others play it. I learned that a clever gimmick is not enough for a game. It seems that it would be fairly simply to learn the symbols on the back of the lava cards and after a few plays, you'll know which ones are safe...or not!



Poor Ezra...first into the lava, then squished by the boulder. The rest of us fared MUCH better.
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24. Board Game: Gene Pool [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:5078]
Cindy Nowak
United States
Kenosha
Wisconsin
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I actually own this game, but hadn't gotten it to the table yet. Fortunately,
Dave Wilson
United States
Pleasanton
California
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had his copy so we sat down to give it a try. I learned I made a good choice in buying this one. A card game that requires a bit of thought before you start maneuvering those gene sequences.

Thanks for teaching me, Dave.



Picture courtesy of Inkygirl
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25. Board Game: WeyKick [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:2361]
Cindy Nowak
United States
Kenosha
Wisconsin
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I learned that my manual dexterity skills are sadly lacking...but I still had fun. Laughed so hard sometimes I could hardly talk. Wish I had room for this here at home!
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