I spent last weekend at the annual boardgaming retreat organised by my friend Oscar. This was my fifth retreat, and I enjoyed it greatly. Oscar negotiates a good off-season all-inclusive deal for 25 of us at a small rural hotel, and then we spend two days gaming and sharing meals. People bring huge numbers of boardgames, many quite new and exciting. The gender ratio is always heavily skewed towards the male side. Most participants are in their 30s or 40s.
This year I played uncommonly long games, all of which where good, all of which were new to me, and at all of which I got roundly beaten. But then, I got beaten at Glass Road too, a game I brought myself and taught to the other players. These guys are good.
- Antike (2005). A fun contribution to the civilisation-building tradition started by the 1980 Civilization boardgame. Took four of us 3:00 hours to play.
- Caverna (2013). An update and improvement on the wildly successful 2007 Agricola. Here, instead of Early Modern German farmers, you play dwarven miners and farmers in a fantasy world. Worker placement and cube pushery. Took four of us 4:00 to play.
- Glass Road (2013). Who builds the best glass & brick kiln operation in Early Modern Bavaria? A shorter game on the principle of “let’s all play solitaire while keeping an eye on what cards and tiles the others are using”. Took four of us 1:30 to play.
- Liar’s Dice (1987). A classic short game of bluffing and simple probability. We played it during breakfast.
- Nations (2013). A Swedish international hit contribution to the Civilisation tradition, but without the map. Took four of us 3:45 to play.
- Rokoko (2013). Equip the court of Louis XV with the finest dresses, the best sculpture, the best musicians and the best fireworks. Set collection and rudimentary deck building. Took five of us 3:20 to play.
- Spyrium (2013). The most original, least familiar and thus must interesting game I played. Jules Vernian industrial theme pasted onto a strange take on the worker placement and cube pushing mechanics. Took five of us 2:40 to play.