I spent most of the weekend at a gaming retreat organised by my buddy Oscar. It was like a small exclusive gaming convention. Oscar found a small B&B outfit in Gnesta, a small town an hour’s drive from Stockholm, and negotiated a deal with them. 18 people, two nights’ board, two excellent dinners and breakfasts and lunches. Everybody paid about $220 (1500 SEK) for the package (not including drinks).
And we had two days of solid board gaming. We were 15 guys and three ladies, all between 25 and 45, and all boardgame geeks. Everybody was extremely friendly, as gamers are wont to, and I had a lovely time.
Here’s the games I played:
- Small World (about fantasy-world conquering hordes)
- Zendo (abstract)
- Endeavor (about Early Modern global trade)
- Sechs nimmt (abstract)
- Wallenstein (a Risk-like war game about 17th century Germany)
- Navegador (about Early Modern global trade again, a game released just a few weeks ago)
- Das Zepter von Zavandor (abstract, thinly overlaid with new-agey stuff about magic and chrystals)
- Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow (a psychological experiment with 17 participants!)
- Roll Through the Ages (Yahtzee meets Civilization))
- Atlantic Star (about Edwardian steamer cruise lines)
The one I enjoyed the most was Wallenstein, partly of course because I managed to win, but also thanks to its ingenious source of the random element for battles. It’s a cardboard tower with hidden grids and shelves inside, and you toss little painted wooden cubes into it. Many of the ones you toss in don’t come out immediately at the bottom, but on the other hand a lot of old cubes from previous fights may pop out. And so you never know quite what the outcome will be.
Even the drinking was geeky: last night some of the guys brought out a few beers each, and every single bottle turned out to be a microbrewery specialty offering. Nobody got sloshed.
Then, after lunch today, I drove down to Norrköping and gave a talk at the town museum on the area’s 1st Millennium elite, which was very well received. And when I got home Jrette gave me a warm Father’s Day welcome!