Thursday, March 22

Session Report: Swiggers

Last night was the last of three nights in London for work. I'd not been home since Saturday morning, and I was beginning to feel a bit fed up with the whole travel thing. Fortunately, before I left home I'd decided I'd try to get to a games club in London and promote Border Reivers. I'd contacted a couple, the email address for one of them bounced, the other replied swiftly and was friendly and welcoming. I was hoping to be able to play a couple of games of Border Reivers, and hopefully make a sale too.

So I went along to Swiggers near London Bridge. I got there around 7:30pm, and there were around twenty-five people already playing games - apparently it starts at six. While waiting for a game to finish I wandered round and I was surprised to recognise so few of the games being playing. Shortly after I arrived a bunch of gents finished their games of Safari Cafe (I think that's what it was called although I can't find that in the BoardGameGeek database). I introduced myself, and Border Reivers and offered them the chance to play a game. They were up for it, so I set up a 4-player game and set about explaining the rules. The game started off fairly slowing, with Jay saving his cash in the first turn and going for the mine, Robert and John playing fairly defensively and me moving towards the mine at a fairly slow pace. Jay got to the mine first and with his first turn savings had built up a fairly healthy lead cash-wise, but he then settled down, creating a few towns at which point my slower settling (I'd only built one town) meant that I was now right next to him with far more troops than he had. He spent the money he'd saved trying to bulk up his armies for defensive purposes. I played fairly cagily, making sure I had armies left defending my cities and getting a Militia for defence as soon as I could. Robert built up extensively, and just as he built his second city (and was very low on armies), Jay hit him with a successful Insurrection. Robert didn't play much of a part in the remainder of the game, he took a while to recover, hindered further by his terrible luck on the reinforcement rolls. I managed to wrestle the mine from Jay, and then keep him on the back foot by heading toward his soft underbelly whenever he tried to threaten me at the mine. John came for me in the last couple of turns, and he did manage to push me back, but my defence in depth strategy paid off as he was unable to destroy one of my settlements and hence stop me winning economically.

After the game Jay bought a copy, but the others said they wouldn't have anyone to play it with. Still, Jay said he knew a few people who might like it, and selling a copy to one third of the people I played it with is a result in my book. I was complemented on the production value too, which is always nice.

Border Reivers continues to sell over the internet, but it sells very well when I play it with people and explain the rules to them, so I should really make more of an effort to get to games clubs or whatever and introduce the game to as many people as possible.

I'm off to Denmark tomorrow to spend a weekend with The Wife who I've not seen for a couple of weeks. I'm really looking forward to it...

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