Junior and I went for two days to LinCon, the annual gaming convention in Linköping (est. 1984). There was a fine crowd of geeks, all ages and with a good gender balance, many in steampunk finery. I said to Junior, "Look at them closely, son. These are your people."
Here's what I played. All good games!
- El Grande (1995). Power struggle in 15th century Spain. This is the only 1990s game currently on Boardgame Geek's top-20, and so I wasn't surprised to find that it was the best game I played. Highly recommended!
- Hacienda (2005). There was a room dedicated to the games of Wolfgang Kramer, so after El Grande we played this one of his. It's a geometrical and abstract thing with a thin veneer of theme having to do with stock breeding in Argentina. Not bad, not great.
- Endeavor (2009). The Age of Discovery: find your way to other continents and establish footholds there. Another not bad, not great abstract game with insufficient theme for my taste.
- Power Grid (2004). Build power plants, extend your grid and sell electricity to the Germans! I've been playing this for years and enjoy its combination of auctions, supply-and-demand economics and on-map strategy. But don't rush ahead: the game is designed to punish the leader throughout.
- Death Angel (2010). Been playing this collaborative game a lot in recent years and it's always a hit with teen boys. Get into your power armour and prepare to clean out an evil alien infestation in the claustrophobic corridors of a derelict space ship. As usually happens, we all got eaten by the nasties.
- Repello (2010). Abstract game with simple rules that produce unexpected emergent outcomes.
- Pickomino / Heckmeck (2005). Yahtzee stripped down to its core mechanic: roll lots of dice, select a few and re-roll. A classic filler game. Its original name means “A ruckus in the frying-worm corner”, the unforgiving mathematical nature of the game having been wrapped in a kid-friendly theme involving, you guessed it, chickens enjoying an earthworm barbecue.
I reported from LinCon 2010 as well.
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If you liked LinCon you should visit GothCon on easter 2014 in Gothenburg. It's like Lincon but twice as big.
Martin Kellerman's comment to gaming: See Monday May 13