BorderCon 2010 - How to Make Friends and Infect People
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Late June means that BorderCon has come and gone for yet another year and what a blast we all had.

Last year's event was something of a coming of age as gamers traveled in strong numbers to really make BorderCon an event that could attract gamers from near and far.

The 2nd year is all important for an event like this and I am happy to report that our numbers were up on last year. But any successful event is about more than numbers.

BorderCon was excellent once again for the friendly atmosphere that pervaded the room (we really have some great gamer personalities here in Australia thumbsup). But 2010 stands out in my mind for the family element. We had numerous gamers bring their rugrats (ranging from 1.5 to 16) along and not only were they wonderfully behaved but many of them either actively gamed or added to the event in some way. I am hopeful that this trend can continue in the future and that those young gamers keep coming back for years to come.

Let me take you on a 4 Day Gaming Journey...

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1. Board Game: Thanks a Million! [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
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Before I begin though I really need to thank a few people for really helping me make BorderCon such a fun event.

First and foremost I need to thank my partner in crime - Patty. She is just wonderful and when I feel a little buggered she picks me up and has my back. A few people made mention of the hard work Patty does in making people feel welcome or how she keeps the room flowing smoothly. I couldn't applaud those comments enough.

Patty Thomson
Australia
Wodonga
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This year was also notable as my club offering me great support. Most of our club members are not on the Geek and it has taken them a few years to recognise the sense of community that the Oz Game scene has developed over the last 5-10 years or so. Now that they are started to sense that and they can see just how big BorderCon has become, people like Brett (our Treasurer) really stepped up. Thanks mate.

I also need to thank guys like Dennis, Peter and Glen who stepped in behind the bar on numerous occasions to make sure everyone was served as it actually let me play a few games.

Final thanks must go to Heather who took all the shots that are featured in this Geek List.

Heather Caunt
Australia
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2. Board Game: Elvis Welcomes You to His World [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
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So BorderCon 2010 kicked off at 5pm on Friday the 11th of June.

Like any year, people rolled in at all different stages of the afternoon and evening based on where they were coming from and if they had worked or not.

Thanks to the dozen or so helpers that gave me a hand in setting up the room. I can't remember you all but you know who you are.

We were expecting a good turn out of 40-50 on the Friday night but were staggered to count heads at around 9pm and find 70 odd gamers catching up with friends and enjoying a game or 3.



View from the Raised Stage



View from the Bar end back towards the Raised Stage area

The place had a great buzz right from the get go and I knew then that this was going to be another great year.
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3. Board Game: Pizza Party [Average Rating:5.07 Overall Rank:14457]
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As promised we had a big pizza run at some time around 8-8:30pm.

I placed an order for around 20 pizzas but it seemed that every time I got off the phone another group of gamers would turn up and ask if they could get some too. After an extra 4-5 calls I think our pizza total came to something like 27 pizzas for the night.

For the record I think they were damned good pizzas so I think we will use them again in 2011.
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4. Board Game: Friday Night Fights [Average Rating:6.22 Unranked]
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Friday Night turned out to be a good night for gaming as I knocked over 2 Con Goals.

Dicetown



Before tea I was able to sit down and play Dicetown with -

Terry Furness
Australia
Monash
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Steve Davis
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David G. Cox Esq.
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Lighthouse Beach
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and Terry kindly taught it to us.

I'm a dice game fan from way back and I really enjoyed the various options, player interaction and the theme of this one.

Somehow I managed to lay low for most of this game as the other 3 kept trying to steal away high valued Land Cards from each other. I just kept eeking away a Gold Nugget here and there and picked up some nice cards that earned me good points at games end.

Neil - 54
Terry - 34
David - 27
Steve - 16

Scripts & Scribes



With Pizza out of the way, the planets aligned and I spotted -

Gregor McNish
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Melbourne
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Gregor not yet committed to anything. I'm not sure who approached who to say, "Scripts & Scribes?" but let's pretend that we were both on a beach, running towards each other with our arms outstretched and the Chariots of Fire Music was playing in the background. It had that feel to it. kiss

This was also a Con Goal as we had been trying to get together for at least 3 prior Cons to play this but to no avail.

I played with -

James Smith
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Ashburton
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Alvin C
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Adelaide
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So what did I think? It's a really nice filler card game that plays in no time and all. But don't be fooled. This is a filler that demands you pay attention and the decisions that must be made are really tough at times.

All that adds up to Win!

But of course I sucked badly here. David (local Dave) and I played as a team to allow Gregor, James, and Alvin to join in the fun.

James - 8
Gregor - 5
Neil/David - 3
Alvin - 0

Powerboats





Rene can't believe the awesomeness of my starting position. Ryan and James are suitably unimpressed.

With all the excitement of seeing everyone again and welcoming new attendees to BorderCon (and not to mention about 6 hours of parent teacher interviews earlier in the day), I was a little mentally drained.

So I went for something familiar and not too taxing in Powerboats. I found some willing racer-game heads in James,

Rene

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and

Ryan

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and we were away.

We went for a 1 lap race and several of the markers made for some tricky little jinks. Rob was the first to reach marker 1 but soon found that he had overcooked his engine and didn't have enough reins to pull up all that horsepower. Ryan and James were the front runners by the time we had rounded the 1st marker but the field closed up again by marker 2 and it was a 3-4 person race yet again.

Some good navigation though was all that was required and in the final stages it was down to James and Ryan. Rob had recovered admirably but Rene and myself had converted our boats to Gondolas and were making some money on the side by taking in tourists and exploring the friendly islands. shake

In the end James had the goods and took the checkered flag.

World Cup Wrap

Having used my ineptitude to help James win 2 games on the trot I decided to take him back to Chateau De Thomson where he was staying and we watched the opening game of the World Cup.

It was nice to see the hosts South Africa get off to a good start by scoring what is still a contender for goal of the tournament but they were held to a 1-1 draw by Mexico.
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5. Board Game: Funny Friends [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:1657]
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Saturday is always one of the biggest days of the Con as we start early (9am) and finish...erm...early (2-3am). I began to sell the raffle tickets for the Charity Prize Draw too, which kept me busy but more on that later.

Crokinole



I started the morning off with something light by siding with my Partner in crime to take on Nick (first time attendee) and -

Phil Walker-Harding
Australia
Ashfield
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I think Phil and Nick were on the board first in this one, but we were soon on our game and Patty was knocking shots into the hole for fun by the end. This wasn't our best example of being friendly hosts.

Neil/Patty - 105
Phil/Nick - 10

Forbidden Island



With a few more charity ticket sales sold, Giant Neil's Al -

Al
Australia
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grabbed Patty, James and me for a game of Forbidden Island.

I had heard many good things about this one and it certainly did play out as Pandemic Light.

The mechanics flowed well and we were traveling pretty well as a team. We were keeping the island in pretty good balance and saving those key locations that we needed to collect the treasures. In the end we fell short by the narrowest of margins as we had 3 of the 4 treasures secured but alas the helipad got cut off and that was that.

Looking back I can see why this game has appeal. It's family friendly, much cheaper than Pandemic and it has nice components that come in an easy to store tin. But in the end I think I prefer Pandemic to this.
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6. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:119] [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked]
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Chris
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Sydney
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had put in an amazing effort to bring along his 2 kids in Dom and Elanor for the whole weekend and they traveled from Sydney no less.

We had organised a little Memoir Family challenge as Chris and I had played Memoir together via VASSAL in 2009 and it would be fun to involve the kids.

So we soon took to the battlefield and played out a 2-sided engagement of Saverne Gap, Vosges.

It was a savage, brutal battle. Field Commanders Chris and Dom gave no quarter as they systematically put Isaac and I to the sword. Our opening tactics were not great on the Allied left and Chris was quick to seize the advantage and punish our Armour Units. Several poor turns of rolling from Isaac later and powerhouse Chris/Dom had sent us back to the beaches with our tails between our legs and a 5-1 thrashing.

Just to prove that it was no fluke, Chris and Dom took control of the Allies and quickly showed us how it should be done. They attacked expertly down the Allied left and our Germans seemed more intent on getting a role in a remake of the 'Allo Allo' series than actually defending the village of Saverne.

Isaac continued to roll dice like a millionaire bored in Las Vegas and our Command Cards were none to helpful either. But the final scoreline of 10-2 can't hide the fact that we were rubbish and our opponents were worthy winners. cry
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7. Board Game: Formula D [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:430]
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I was undecided as to whether I wanted to commit to the Formula D Championship this year, but in the end I decided I had to play with Isaac at his first Con.

The field was 8 strong and consisted of Brett, Mark, Local Dave, Rene, Dennis, Isaac, myself and David C.

We were racing on the Chicago Street Circuit, which consisted of a cross-over section of track, multiple pathways through some bends and a gaping hole in the freeway that needed to be jumped over.



Isaac got off to a good start and he literally maneuvered his car around the track like Ayrton Senna, hardly missing a corner or putting a foot wrong. He was of course getting some track intel from the pits via dear old dad.

I too had a good race and was hot on the heels of Isaac for much of the race but could never quite string together the 2-3 corners in a row needed to close the gap on him.

The real fun however was in the remaining positions as the rest of the field jockeyed for position and collided several times to leave damage strewn across the track.

Dennis in particular was the menace and Brett soon followed suit as they went out of their way to drive tight and cause horrendous bodywork issues for all concerned.

David C. along with Local Dave were perhaps the two most unlucky drivers as they just couldn't hit the corners with any regularity. Brett, Mark and Dennis were soon out of the race.

The remaining lap and a bit had a few tense moments as the two David's and Rene threatened to challenge for 2nd place.

But in the end Isaac took the podium finish and in doing so won his first gaming trophy at his first Gaming Convention with Dad coming in 2nd to shake an angry fist in his direction.

When Brett announced Isaac as the winner to the room, he held the Trophy above his head. The whole function room let out a cheer for the little guy. I think that made his weekend and he felt like one of the Geeks.

There was a real scramble to the line for the remaining drivers as they jostled for the remaining positions. I think David C. was the most unlucky as he dropped from 3rd to 5th in the space of half a lap.



Isaac's sold Separately
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8. Board Game: Alea Iacta Est [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:1258]
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Next up was my turn to teach something and I had put up my hand for this little Roman Dice number.

I was joined by Terry,

Paul

BFL's going down (under)
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One of the 4 David's (must write down initials)

and Brett.

I can't really recall how this one went (oh wait, Terry couldn't help himself and kept securing those Fortuna Tokens) except that I felt I was doing quite well and possibly had this in the bag only for Paul to snatch it by a fine margin thanks to some big Province and Patrician scoring tiles he managed to nab in the middle to end game.

This was payback for the narrow defeat he suffered at my hands in a game of Finca at CanCon ealier in the year.

Paul - 42
Neil - 40
Brett - 33
Terry & David - 32
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9. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:49]
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With dinner time at Taco Bills fast approaching we had just enough time to fit in one more game so we grabbed a vanilla copy of Race.

For most of us playing just the base game was a trippy exercise in traveling back in time as we had only played with the expansions for many moons.

I was joined by a veritable set of gaming brains in Chris, Paul and

Danny Bartel
Australia
Salisbury Heights
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and I knew this was going to be a deadly game of Race.

By the early game it was evident that I was up against 3 economic engines, which probably makes good sense when playing with the base game.

But I was unperturbed and went after a military strategy of Galactic Conquest given I was New Sparta. Not really having the beard for it I resisted yelling out, "This is Sparta" but I did go about my galactic domination duties by quietly racking up a handy little tableau.

My moves were largely relying on +5 Explore actions and then leeching off the Settle actions of others and this seemed to work fine as I picked up several of the lower to mid valued Rebel Worlds.

But it was evident that Chris was my main rival as he had built himself a nice little x2 Consume Economy and was eating up the VP pool. Danny had no luck in this one and couldn't get his strategy together, whilst Paul was chugging along but just couldn't get enough synergy together.

The final 3-5 turns were tense and I seemed to draw on all the good luck the galaxy had to offer. I think in the end I picked up all of the high scoring Rebel Worlds in the base game bar 1 or 2 and even managed to secure New Galactic Order and another Military based 6VP Dev to boot.

To highlight just how forntunate I was in this one, I had been forced to throw away Rebel Homeworld in the early game and on one final +5 Explore managed to get it again after the reshuffle.

As we headed out the door for dinner at Taco Bills I had a nice big fat smile on my face and only wished I had a Darth Vader outfit to wear.

Neil - 48
Chris - 43
Paul - 34
Danny - 23
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10. Board Game: Taco Shop Psychic [Average Rating:2.00 Unranked]
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Soon we were all heading off to rendevous at Taco Bills for the traditional Saturday Night dinner. I had booked for 30 and managed to secure another 5-6 seats but this still wasn't enough for the 45 that made their way down.

So we had a Mexican Stand-off and Patty, Brett, Ryan, Anna and several others kindly gave up their spots to accommodate other out of town'ers.

The food was excellent and the service ok. Phil probably got the short end of the stick this year as he had a nervous new waitress spill a beer on him and then his order got mixed up and he had a lengthy wait. Sorry mate.

Dinner is really a highlight for me as it lets me mingle with people, get to know them better on a more social level and hear about how the Con has gone for them so far.

I had a great time talking to -

♬♪♪ ♫ ♩ ♫♫♪ ♩♬♪ ♫
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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Craig Hargraves
Australia
Morayfield
Queensland
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Gerald Squelart
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Melbourne
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Auctioning (Almost) All The Games!
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Aaron Seeber
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Melbourne
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Erin
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Murrumbeena
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I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory.
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and

Tim Armstrong
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Taco Bills did a great job of the service this year and most of us were back and gaming by 8:30pm. They also tipped $50 into the charity pool too. thumbsup
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11. Board Game: Tobago [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:388]
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I had the luxury of returning to the gaming without having promised myself to anyone so Craig, Rene and -

David Fisher
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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hailed me to teach them Tobago.

I think I covered most things well enough and we were soon on our way to try and out-deduce each other and drop the right clue at the right time.

This was actually the most enjoyable game of Tobago I have played. Each of the 4 Treasure Locations were being hotly contested and we had a few tense moments when it was evident that the Skull Cards were amongst the booty.

In the end this was a game for sharks and I was sadly only a Port Jackson watching on as the Great Whites fought it out.

Rene - 34
David - 34
Neil - 26
Craig - 24

So we double checked the rules to find the tie breaker and confirmed that it was indeed Amulets that sealed the deal.

Rene looked down to see his 2 Amulets to 0 for David and flashed that big Mexican smile. Good game all round this one. cool
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12. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy: The Brink of War [Average Rating:7.77 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.77 Unranked]
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More ticket sales ensued and then I had my arm twisted by overlord Ryan to play RftG: Brink of War.

We didn't go for goals but did have take overs in play and obviously the new Prestige Mechanic.

I had played 2 games solo but didn't really have my head around Brink of War yet and I think Craig was in a similar position.

But I don't think it would have mattered because Ryan was synergising his Tableau like a Grand Galactic Magician. He had Prestige coming out the proverbial Black Hole Wazoo and we couldn't seem to find a Prestige card in the deck till late in the game. He milked those benefits for all they were worth and very soon he had past the speed of light and turned Craig and I into mere paste that he happily smeared across the rings of Saturn. But it's the journey that counts right.

Ryan - 53
Neil - 29
Craig - 24

For the record I have played around 15 games of BoW Solo since BorderCon and like Luke in the Empire Strikes Back I will be seeking out the Dark Lord at ConVic for a rematch. devil
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13. Board Game: Lovers Wild [Average Rating:6.17 Unranked]
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Perpetual Commotion



It had been a big day and my brain was hurting. I had something light left in me.

Anna -

JC
Australia
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soon beckoned me over and insisted that I play a game of 2 Player Perpetual Commotion with my wife, as she had had a few too many drinks to continue her challenge with Patty and of course she wanted to revel in my dextrous ineptitude.

Patty got off to a flyer and combined with some barbed retorts from Anna in regards to my physical stamina, I was soon feeling like a lilting Rosebud in the death throes of Autumn. wow

But within a hand or two I had found my mojo and the scores closed up thanks to some double scoring rounds.

The frenzied sound effects were coming thick and fast and several tables had to turn their heads to see who the pair of monotone-al neanderthals were on the raised stage.

With a winning score of 150 required, it would come down to the last hand with Patty holding a slender 8-10 point lead.

We went hammer and tong, hands flashing, cards whizzing. It had more energy than a pair of early 20 somethings fondling around in the back of a Cortina whistle ...but in the end...

Patty - 158
Neil - 147

I'd like to say that I was all chivalrous and laid up (just keeping the theme going) for Patty to win. But the truth is she was just too good.

I will now take my 1,327 Brownie Points and bank them thank you very much.

This game was very good. My club aren't big Perpetual Commotion Fans so I may need to trade my multi-player copy out and get this for the two of us. It's just another way to keep warm in the winter.
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14. Board Game: Mexican Hold'em Poker [Average Rating:6.29 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.29 Unranked]
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At 11pm Saturday night we kicked off the inaugural BorderCon Texas Hold'em Poker Tournament.

We had 14 Gamblers throw their hats into the ring as they fought over the coveted BorderCon Trophy.

One table went nuts with some aggressive betting whilst my table was playing at a pace more akin to Geriatric Speed.

Eventually the 2 tables became one and despite Ben being a big chip leader at one point, a BorderCon newbie took the title and all before him.

Congratulations Murray -

Murray Ward
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As well as taking the trophy away, the club will be buying a Perpetual Shield that will have all the winner's names on it from year to year so you can aim for the History Books.
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15. Board Game: The World Cup Game [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:1805]
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World Cup Wrap

James and I headed back at around the Midnight mark (early then) for some quiet time alone...

...err to stay fresh and watch the games for that night.

Greece 0 v Korea 2

Greece were absolutely horrendous in this game and treated defending a little like Aussies treat Thongs worn with socks...we really don't care for it.

Argentina 1 - Nigeria 0

This game was good and Messi could have scored a hat trick if it weren't for the brilliance of the Nigerian keeper.

We hit the sack and decided to watch the England v USA game off record at 7am.

England 1 v USA 1

This looked to be going to plan for the Poms with a Stevie G goal at the 5 minute mark. But they decided to play rubbish for the remainder of the game and the US started to believe. A rubbish shot from Dempsey managed to score thanks to a howler from Green that will keep his psychologist buying new cars for many years to come.
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16. Board Game: Revenge [Average Rating:6.66 Unranked]
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Sunday morning rolled around and I locked eyes with Chris from across the room.

The Memoir '44 Rematch was on.

The Battle for Montelimar

For this engagement Chris and Dom were joined by Elanor (Dom's Sister) to make them a team of 3 with each in control of a section of the field.

Isaac and I were again a duo and we took the Germans to start. The battle was tight and the dice and Command Cards more even for both sides. Most of the action settled around Hills 294 and 300 with the Germans sporting specialised Panzer Grenadiers and both sides looked to take advantage of rolling Armour Assault moves.

We also had a rollicking good raid down the German left flank that secured 2 Medals. But Chris and his Uber-Generals had the final laugh as they secured a nail biting 6-5 victory.

The Return Journey

So it came down to this. Isaac and I needed to win and limit the enemy to 4 medals or less.

Chris and his two Field Marshals started out well punishing us in the center as we had done to them previously. Both sides had some key moments of brilliance and some utter disasters as Armour Overruns failed to materliase and units defied defeat.

We had made a bold attempt to rush the Rhone River and in doing so secure an Objective Medal. Our plan was to run through the German Panzer Grenadiers, eliminate the last Infantry protecting the Artillery, use an Armour Overrun to vanquish what remained of the German Armour and in the subsequent turn put pressure on the Artillery for the win.

Of course we stormed to the River...but everything else failed as Isaac returned to his form of Memoir Saturday and managed to roll snake eyes on Memoir '44 dice...the damn things don't even have numbers!

Chris and the nippers soon reveled in the disorganisation within our ranks and used a Medics and Mechanics to repair an Armour Unit and put us to the sword, leveling things up at 4-4. They looked likely to at least force a tie or take the 2nd win.

With our units all but annihilated it seemed as if defeat was calling our name. But we had one hope...we played Air Power and Issac cried out ‘Porco Rosso’ as we sent in the planes.

Our friendly pig pilot was soon fueled up and ready to take aim at 2 full strength Armour Units, a 1 figure Infantry Unit and those all important Artillery.

Things started well with 4 direct hits on the Armour units, but they of course secured us no medals as they could not be eliminated.

Next came the Infantry. Only a single hit was required from 2 dice and Isaac was on song again with another pair of hits. Medal count = 5-4.

So it had come down to this. The final attack by the Allied Air Forces and we required 1 Medal to reach the Magic 6 and in doing so secure an unlikely victory.

2 Artillery units stood in our way. 2 Hits from 2 dice were required but we did have a 50% chance given that they had no retreat and stars count as hits for Air Power.

This was epic...our chance for redemption had come down to this. The Germans were fearful of our flying Pig Ace so they bunkered down for the impending attack...



Bunker Down



Notice the Dice of Fate rolling in the Foreground like 2 Incoming Bombs dropped from on high!

A Star and a Flag!

We had done it. Isaac had rolled 8 hits from 8 dice in the final attack to secure a 6-4 victory and an overall Battle score of 11-10.



A Cheer goes up to fill the room and I look a little Guilty

So the great Sydney/Wodonga Memoir Challenge was leveled up at 1-1. This of course is totally unsatisfactory as neither side could claim victory but it was a devilish plan to make sure that Chris, Dom and Elanor return in 2011 to duke it out again.

These matches were amongst my highlights for BorderCon 2010 as they combined my 3 great loves - Friends, Family and Gaming.

Thanks very much to our great adversaries.
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17. Board Game: Crokinole [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:76]
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Soon James gave me one of those bleary eyed Sunday morning looks that could only mean "I want to flick your bits" so we settled in for a quick Crokinole to fill some time.

Soon enough the Carrom Master was showing me that Crokinole is a game for amateurs and that he was the master of my wood. blush

James - 100
Neil - 40
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18. Board Game: Gloria Picktoria [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:2458]
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Charity Prize Draw

I filled up the rest of the morning selling one last wild batch of tickets and the great people in the room didn't let me down with many coming back for just a few more or big batch buys.

I had just enough time to duck downstairs to hit up Kevin (Hume Inn) for a $100 donation and then it was time to make the call. The room lowered to a hush as we all gathered round. Like Neolithic Cavepeople we all hovered around the Prize Table like gamers around that Final 7 Cost Hut in Stone Age.



The Prize Table bristling with over 30 prizes thanks to Mind Games Albury, Military Simulations, Games Paradise Sydney (Online) and the many gamers who threw items onto the table.

Patty did an amazing job in pulling out winners from every State and territory that was represented.

So let's see a few of the lucky winners -



Tim picked up Wars of the Roses, which also served as his Gym workout for the day



Steve nabbed a copy of Wasabi



Bill secured a copy of Soccer Tactics World for the family back home

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Local Rob insisted on Ruling Them All

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And Chris picked up Fast Flowing Forest Fellas

But the humorous side note here was that Chris was gunning for War of the Roses and was the very next ticket to be pulled out after it was taken.

Then some sickly freak won when his wife pulled him out and despite many good games still being up for grabs (including the copy of Dune I believe) he went lunging for the 'Solo' Socceroos lucky undies, which lead to some of these unfortunate images... gulp





Son and Father he can do nothing about



Obligatory photo with Max that will return for his 18th birthday!
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19. Board Game: Care Bears: On the Path to Care-a-Lot [Average Rating:4.33 Unranked]
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So how did we go with the Charity total?

Well I am very pleased to announce that BorderCon 2010 raised $1,650 for a young girl with Bone Cancer.

I will be setting up the trust fund in the coming week and I look forward to handing it over to Imogen and her family.

May she win this battle of hers and use the money to take her sisters on a holiday, buy her first car or use it to travel overseas.

From the bottom of my heart I thank everyone that helped contribute to this awesome result. meeple
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20. Board Game: Free Trader [Average Rating:6.20 Overall Rank:6401]
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The Charity Raffle marks a great time for me as it is my last major official duty and I can then chill and get in some games without other things playing on my mind.

Mystery Rummy: Al Capone and the Chicago Underworld



Patty called me over to take her place in this game as she was wanted by someone else for something else.

So I joined Peter, Leanne and Heather

who were all locals. This dragged a little longer than it should have as the 3 newbies were being a little cagey with their cards I think and leaving points in their hand when each round ended.

I decided that my 150th play of this should be marked with a win on 203 points.

Memoir '44



I had promised to have a game of this with Craig and by Sunday afternoon he had been joined by his lovely wife - Joanna.

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Terry and James joined me to make a Team of 3. Craig and Joanna had traveled the furthest of all, coming all the way from Northern Queensland. Bravo to you both.

We played Arracourt over 2 legs and it was every bit as gut wrenching as I remembered from my play years earlier, with all the potential for Armour Assaults and last ditch defensive efforts around the village of Lezey.

I can't remember the exact ins and outs of this one except that Tezza couldn't hit a Tank if he tried and that we were well and truly up going into the second leg.

Even part way through the 2nd leg it looked grave for Craig and Joanna but they launched an amazing rear guard action that may have included an Ambush and a Behind Enemy Lines from memory, to snatch a stunning victory and tie up the encounter at 10-10.

Memoir '44 did it again.

Pack and Stack



Sunday evening was soon upon us and my brain was ready for lighter fare.

I joined up with Al, James and Max to play what was the game of BorderCon 2009.

This game is always good fun even when you blow chunks. Al showed us all how it should be done and Max came a credible second.

Al - 56
Max - 23
James - 19
Neil - 0

Finca



I was soon pulled into a game of Finca with Lee, Heather and

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at the other end of the room. Patty gave a pretty good run down and we worked out a few other things thanks to James who had learned this for CanCon 2010.

I really like this game a lot and it will be in my collection before Christmas. The game ebbed and flowed as each of us went for a slightly different path to victory as we all scrambled to collect fruit and then splash it around with gay abandon.

In the end -

Neil - 51
Lee - 51
Heather - 51
David - 47

Wow what a result. We went scrambling for the Tie Breaker Rules and found that Lee and I sat on 7 and Heather on 5.

So a mutual victory. Warm and fuzzies all round then.

Coloretto



A lot of people were well engaged in longer titles by now so I stuck with the same crew and played a quick game of Coloretto, which Lee had picked up from Julian and the Unhalfbricking Stand.

Lee - 32
James - 32
Neil - 27
Heather - 17

Unlike Finca this game has no tie breaker so Lee and James shared the glory.

Sahne



I decided to cap off the night by playing the 'Cake Game'.

This is a nice little filler game where players must divide up a cake into 5 sections each round. How many slices are in each section and how the pie is segmented though is up to the active player. So it is a 'divide and conquer' game if you like that uses a majority scoring rule and the ability to put pieces away for a guaranteed score instead.

It is nothing fabulous but it is engaging and quick. I may pick this up at some point as the extended family will like it.

Lee - 23
James - 20
Neil - 18
Heather - 17
Scott - 14

World Cup Wrap

And so it was that James and I retired to watch -

Algeria 0 v Slovenia 1

I can't remember a thing from this game and I'm pretty sure I slept through large chunks of it...meaning James could have been doing anything to me.

We decided to skip the next game so we could get some sleep in and watch the -

Germany 4 v Australia 0

match at 4:40am

We were joined by Chris, Elanor and Dom for this one (that's dedication for you) and as we all know by now Mexican Referees are Red/Yellow Colourblind and we were played off the park.

I did however wear my 'Solo' Socceroos Lucky Undies for the entire match. I seriously considered burning them later that morning.
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21. Board Game: Monday Morning Manager [Average Rating:6.12 Unranked]
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There is something eerily majestic about the Monday of a Gaming Con. Most Brains are frazzled beyond repair, numbers have dropped (although we were still at 40 strong) and (in my experience at least) Monday morning is sometimes the best time for Gaming Moments.

Neuroshima Hex



I had wanted to get a game in of this all weekend and Steve was more than willing to have a go. We were soon joined by James and Terry and we decided to go for a 'No Holds Barred' every man for himself battle to the death.

I was the Moloch or Green guys and they were the other 3 colours. Ooh the detail.

The battle ebbed and flowed but Steve and myself found oursleves in the lead come the early-mid point. That of course was soon put right and by the middle to end game it was a 4 way tussle for supremacy.

I then made a classic Monday morning error that cost me 2 health points to my Headquarters and from there I was doing the bidding of the other 3. James had put himself in a nice corner position and only really had heat from Steve to worry about. Terry was in another good position on the opposite side. He was taking heat from me and Steve but he was managing it well.

The game came down to the final turns for everyone. I was the first to fall, Steve soon followed as we had essentially crippled each other and Terry came out with a narrow 2-1 victory.

This was a highlight of the Con for me for sure. 4-Player suffers somewhat from a 'kill the leader' syndrome but it is still a blast. I can't wait to play this more regularly with 2 and with 4 in teams.

Pickomino



Many people were now starting to hit the road so the same crew jumped into a game of 'Push your Luck' Pickomino.

Neuroshima Hex has been described as a knife fight at close quarters and it is a good description. So I think that we took those knives and secured them to the legs of our chickens as this game of Pickomino was brutal.

We all stole at every opportunity (even when better things were up for grabs). Big Worm Tiles came and went and the lead changed hands several times. With Terry falling from grace as his big stack 'o 5 tiles was reduced to nothing!

Poor Steve got hammered again (what is it about dice games and you Steve?!) and I pretended to look good but ran out of luck as is usually the case in this game.

In the end James capped off what was a pretty successful weekend for him I think -

James - 7
Terry - 5
Neil - 3
Steve - 0

Thanks for the game guys. The trash talk and general oxygen starved brain gaming of this one will live long in the memory. laugh

Alea Iacta Est



Long after most had gone, Craig and Joanna were still floating about on account that they were not leaving till the Tuesday. I also saw my wife again for the first time in 12 hours and she joined us.

So I pulled out Alea Iacta Est to teach another light/medium dice game.

Our brains were all a little low on signal strength but I think Craig and Joanna picked it up fairly well. In the end I managed to secure some really nice Senate Bonus Scoring Tiles and then sought about dominating the Castrum to secure all 6 coloured provinces to secure the win.

Neil - 51
Craig - 41
Joanna - 38
Patty - 31
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22. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.91 Overall Rank:30]
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So that was my journey through BorderCon 2010. But what else happened?

Well Fraser followed through with his threat to play all 12 Power Grid Maps and achieved this by playing PG from Saturday morning through to Sunday evening.

That is truly amazing and somewhat disturbing - but hey - Cons are designed for this kind of madness.

Bravo to Gerald and Daughter the Elder who achieved this awesome feat and rushed over to tell me they had done it. Bravo Biggie!

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23. Board Game: Twilight Imperium (Third Edition) [Average Rating:7.89 Overall Rank:50]
 
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The long games crew got some longer and/or meatier games in with plays of -

Middle Earth Quest



War of the Ring




Die Macher




Greed Incorporated



Shipyard




Farmer of the Moors (Agricola thingy)



Cyclades



Washington's War




At the Gates of Loyang




Wars of the Roses



David (Barbarian of the North) plans to subjugate the Welsh Peasants

Dungeon Lords



Many Thanks to Terry for teaching this more than once over the weekend - I sense a CanCon Publisher Demo Role for you in the future

and

Twilight Imperium 3rd Ed.



Paul realises that he has been muttering his plans out loud and decides to seal the vault
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24. Board Game: Middle Kingdom [Average Rating:5.98 Overall Rank:5551]
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And of course there was plenty of other light to medium fun to be had over all 4 days with plays of games like -

Shadows Over Camelot



Tinner's Trail



The Adventurers - which was modified to play with 10 or 12 I think - bummed to have missed that one.

Long Shot - Which everyone tells me was awesome - I missed this too. A Con Goal for ConVic later in the year.

Vasco da Gama, Krakow, Plasterflubbersteinmatrix, Werewolf, Mystery Express, Ticket to Ride, Dominion and Glory to Rome to name but a few.

And there must have been dozens of other games that I missed around the room.

You can check out just some of them here -

BorderCon - Here's What you Missed
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25. Board Game: Mosaic Designer [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
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The final base to cover I think is the Designer's Corner Idea.

Essentially this was meant to be a chance for gamers to play some of the prototypes that the Designers (Phil, Melissa, David F. and Ben) had brought along.

It was scheduled for the Sunday morning and worked ok with several gamers offering ideas and feedback. But it could have gone better. I have gathered some feedback and plan on making this a much bigger part of BorderCon next year as I think it really has some merit.

Unfortunately I wasn't even able to break away myself to play the prototypes this year so I will have to rectify that for 2011.

Thanks so much for the Designer's support of this idea and their willingness to put there stuff out there for us to see and enjoy.
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