Sunday, October 15

Psychocon: Day One

I had it in my mind that I wanted to sell between three and five copies at Psychocon before I got there. On arrival I realised that Psychocon is a much smaller convention than The Cast Are Dice. Whereas TCAD had around one hundred and thirty attendees, Psychocon has around thirty. Time to re-evaluate my expectations. I think two to three copies is reasonable.

I also had much more difficulty getting people to play Border Reivers, with fewer people (and a lot of organised tournament games), there were rarely people free for a game - so I spent a fair amount of time wandering round watching other games. Jerry helped drum up some interest. He'd bought a copy at TCAD and that was the last I'd heard. I assumed he'd tried it and not liked it - I know he's on BoardGameGeek, but he's not rated it or even listed it as owned. It turns out that he's taken it to the Sheffield Wargames club where it's pretty popular - yeay! I did manage to get five 2-player games of Border Reivers in before I called it a night, and played a few other games before going home.

First up was Kevin. I don't remember much of that game, I'm not sure it was his type of game. I won in the end by playing an Insurrection on his only city, from which he never recovered.

Jeff was up second. This was a really great game. Right from the start Jeff managed to get to upper hand - getting to the mine first and then taking advantage of the extra cash to bolster his forces. I felt under pressure throughout the whole game. I managed to swing things in my favour, but then Jeff swung it back. We backed and forthed a few times before Jeff eventually won by military might. I was really pleased with the game during this one. Throughout the game, either one or the other of us was clearly winning, however it was completely up in the air as to who would win. A real nail-biter. Jeff was interested in the game, but the price-tag put him off. He was still considering a purchase as I left that evening.

The third game was against Bernie, and this one went pretty much all my way. I managed to get the upper hand in cash generation, and then used this to win the game via the cash route. Bernie enjoyed the game though, and he was also interested in the game. By the end of the day he'd not decided whether he wanted a copy either. He asked me to contact him with the details - but I'd not got his email address so that was kind of hard to do. Final score: me 50, Bernie 8.

A bit later I spotted someone looking at the game while I was watching another game, so I wandered over and introduced myself and offered a game. The guy, Hugo, asked if I was the writer of this blog, as he blogged too. It turns out that Hugo is the author of Bode Gueims a bi-lingual Portugese/English games blog that linked here a while ago, and that I've linked to too. We sat down, and played a game out that lasted rather a long time as we spent quite a lot of time chatting over the game. This was another really good game. Hugo started off in the lead, holding the mine and tooling up with the cash. I managed to swing things in my favour eventually getting to the winning point with forty-five gold at the end of my turn. Hugo had one turn to turn things around before I won at the start of my next turn. He'd managed to push me back quite far by that point and he successfully razed one of my cities stealing the requisite six gold to take me under the winning limit. This also pushed him over the forty gold limit. Now I had one turn to stop him from winning. I couldn't do it unfortunately, but I did manage to push him out of my side of the map and get over the limit too. Final score: Hugo 43, me 43, with Hugo winning. He also ordered a copy - yeay!

At one point during our game, Hugo asked me how many times I'd played Border Reivers. At a guess? Over a hundred. Then he asked if I'm bored with it yet. I thought about it, and honestly, I'm not. Each game is different - there's no one strategy I always play. The board layout, my opponents and the luck of the dice ensure that the game doesn't always go the same way.

My fifth and final game of Border Reivers was against Tom, the teenage winner of the earlier Diplomacy competition. This was another tight game, with Tom winning for most of it and holding a terrifying five card hand at one point (it was a brutal turn when he used three of those on me!). Somehow (I'm not quite sure how), I managed to turn things around and won the game simultaneously with both methods, wiping out his armies and settlements and getting over forty gold. Tom enjoyed the game though - so another another happy opponent.

After popping out for some dinner, Hugo and I set up a game of Hey! That's My Fish!, and just as we were about to start, Jon joined in. I'd really enjoyed this previously at Beyond Monopoly and again it didn't disappoint. However, this time I didn't win. In fact I was royally creamed. Final scores: Jon 38, Hugo 34, me 25.

My final game of the day was Trans America with Steve, his daughter Tasha, Alan, Paul D and Donogh. I'd played the European version of this before - and been lamped. This time I had a slightly better idea of what I was doing. I won the first round, and only lost two points in the second. However, in the final round I lost five, so I ended up coming joint third out of six. Final scores: Donogh 6, Steve 4, Alan and I 3. Both Paul D and Tasha dropped below zero losing the game.

The five games of Border Reivers I played made me feel pretty good about the game. Despite all being 2-player games, they were pretty varied and the games against Jeff and Hugo in particular were really close and good fun. Let's hope for an equally good day today.


Jeff said...

Jack, it certainly was a good game between us, and I still think it was due to the fiendish combination placement of the mountains, mine, and uncultivated land tiles. I just started tracking any activity and ownership and don't have time to add everything quite yet on BGG, but I popped Border Reivers on already. £30 well spent as far as I'm concerned. I plan on attending BM! in the near future, and hope to see you there. I'll give you a fair rematch!

andyb said...

Did you manage to sell (m)any copies over the weekend?

If you bought a copy, Jeff, then Jack must've sold at least 1.. I hope you managed to sell more than that though!

Welcome also to BGG Jeff, as well as to the growing list of "Border Reivers" owners :)

Jack said...

You're on for the re-match, Jeff! I'll not be at BM this week as I'm on holiday, but I might be able to make it in November. I'm glad you enjoyed it, and thanks again for buying a copy.

Andy, I did okay :-) - read today's post for details, and tomorrow's for an analysis of the convention.

HamsterOfFury said...

Speaking of Hey! That's My Fish!, I LOVE that game. I believe I'm 5 wins and 0 defeats so far so things're looking bright! You at Midcon? We could finally get a Border Reivers/Tour double header.

Jack said...

Luke, I'm 1 win, 1 loss at Hey! That's My Fish! I love the game too, right from the very first play.

I might be a MidCon, I've not decided yet. It depends whether I can get enough stock together beforehand. I'm on holiday next week, so I might find it too difficult.

hmocc said...


You are very kind in your review of our game. I was going to be trashed if it wasn't for your wise teachings...

I really think Border reivers is a very good game and I'm sure you will be making a second edition in no time.

Anyway, if we happen to meet in York at BM!, and if you are willing, I will want to play BR again. I would also like to try it in a 3 or 4 player environment.

hmocc said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
hmocc said...

Also, many thanks for advertising Bode Gueims!!!!!



Jack said...

Hugo, you're welcome. Also, we're on for a re-match next time we're both at BM.