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.
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