Monday, October 16

Psychocon: Day Two

Once again I just missed the bus, so I arrived at Psychocon at half ten, rather than the half nine I'd been aiming for. Sunday was lighter on Border Reivers, I only played a couple of games, but it was a very good day none-the-less.

First up was a 2-player against Steve M. This was a fairly brutal game, we were both successfully reiving for a few turns, with money changing hands in all directions. When you know someone has a Reiving Party because they've just stolen some money from you and kept the Reiving Party, there's a horrible feeling hanging over you. No fun at all. At least I was returning the favour :-) Tom watched this game and commented on how different it was from the game we had played on Saturday. The game was interrupted twice for sales, which was nice. Jeff from Saturday had made up his mind and swung by to buy a copy, and then Nigel popped over for one too. Great. In the end, I won the game by military victory. Steve was definitely interested in the game, but didn't have the cash on hand. He said he might very well order one via the internet in the next couple of days.

My second game of the day was against another Steve: Steve T one of the convention organisers. Steve got to the mine first and had the Lion's share of the luck. I tried to attack the mine twice, with numbers on my side, and both times I got slaughtered, while he was unscathed. He used the extra money to build up a healthy economy and at one point had all his cities and all his armies on the board. In the end Steve won: 50 to 15, and my score was only that high because I started saving in the last couple of turns to reduce the embarrassment!

At that point I was asked to join in the Formula Dé tournament as they were short on players. I played the second heat and the final. I started in second place on the grid for the heat, and managed to get into first place which I held for about half of the game. At several points I had a fairly large lead, but going into the chicane I made some bad gearing decisions, and coupled with some unlucky rolls I ended up sneaking fourth place, just winning a place in the final. As the last qualifier, I start at the back of the grid in the final and I never really recovered from that. I managed to get as high as fifth (out of seven). I would probably have finished sixth (Donogh blew up after a shunt), but as soon as the first and second places (the only two to win prizes) were determined we stopped the game as it was getting fairly late.

Between the Formula Dé heat and final I managed to get a quick game of Street Soccer in. This quick and simple football was very popular, with a twelve-player tournament contested during Sunday. I played it, and lost 5-2 to Kevin, but to be honest I didn't really enjoy it - it seemed a little too random. Perhaps if I was more experienced I would have positioned myself better to limit the effect of a poor dice roll. Having recently played Football Tactics 2006, I definitely prefer that to Street Soccer - it just seemed a bit more tactical.

I had a really great convention, I was really pleased with how well Border Reivers went down, and how many copies I sold. I'll post another convention analysis tomorrow, like the one I did for The Cast Are Dice. The day ended on a bit of a downer though, as my first (and so far only) US customer contacted me to let me know he'd played six 2-player games of Border Reivers and considered the 2-player version broken - in his experience the player who goes first always wins. He wanted to review the game on BoardGameGeek (which I really appreciate) and wanted to give me a chance to defend the game before he posted a potentially negative review (which I appreciate even more). I'll be honest - I don't keep track of who starts the games I play, and hence whether or not they are the winners, but I don't think it's a forgone conclusion. I replied letting him know what I do during a game, and how that could turn the game around. I guess I'll soon find out whether it changes his mind.

6 comments:

Mal said...

What did you think to Formula De? I've been thinking about getting it myself...

Jack said...

Hmmm. I wasn't really taken with it to be honest. It felt a little too dice driven, and I got the feeling there wasn't much you could do to rescue yourself from a bad position on the grid.

Pitch Car on the other hand I thought was fantastic, though it's a dexterity game, not a strategy one.

andyb said...

Have either of you tried Ave Caesar?

I don't know how it compares to Formula De, but it's a very neat little race game that's card driven, so each player has exactly the same set of cards. The strategy comes in the blocking and manouvering, as well as managing your hand of cards effectively.

Jack said...

I've not - I'm guessing Mal's after something Formula One themed - he's a big fan.

AndyB said...

Fair point.

Ironically Ave was originally going to be a motor racing themed game, but they thought that wouldn't sell, so they changed it to chariot racing...

Mal said...

I can always pretend... :)