The annual boardgaming retreat is 48 hours with fellow gamers at an off-season rural hotel. This one was my ninth, at a golf and country club near Trosa. I played ten sessions of nine different games. Only the tiny filler Tides of Time was entirely new to me, and all were very enjoyable!
To give you an idea of how popular each game is, I’ve included its current BGG rank in the list below. For instance, Eclipse’s 40 means that right now there are only 39 boardgames that the largely US-based users of Boardgamegeek.com rate more highly. And they have rated tens of thousands of games!
- Above and Below (2015). Ranked 206. Resource management and action point allowance with beautiful art and a story book that the players read bits out of to each other. One of the event’s most-played games this year.
- Eclipse (2011). Ranked 40. A Finnish design: interstellar colonisation and war with a nifty resource management engine.
- Glory to Rome (2005). Ranked 175. Intricate card-based logistics game by Carl Chudyk who later released the excellent Innovation. Good fun, not too long!
- The Quacks of Quedlinburg (2018). Ranked 125. You’re herbalists cooking potions. Like a deck-building game but you draw little tiles from a bag instead. A push-your-luck mechanic keeps you worrying that your cauldron’s contents will explode!
- Scythe (2016). Ranked 10. Intricate cube pusher / worker placement / mini war game in the dieselpunk world of amazing Polish military fantasy painter Jakub Rozalski. Not enough interaction for my taste.
- A Study In Emerald, 2nd ed. (2015). Ranked 1172. Lovecraftian horror meets spy fiction and detective fiction in Victorian Europe in another hit game by the revered Martin Wallace, based on a 2003 story by Neil Gaiman. Combines deck building with various other mechanics in a nice salad. (The 1st edition from 2013 is ranked 710.)
- That’s Pretty Clever (2018). Ranked 154. Like Yahtzee only fun and intricate.
- Tides of Time (2015). Ranked 992. Neat short two-player card game where you play a card, then swap hands with each other, and repeat this until you run out of cards.
- Yellow & Yangtze (2018). Ranked 1206. This is a modified, streamlined and re-skinned version of Reiner Knizia’s classic 1997 Tigris & Euphrates, which is one of my personal favourite games. At rank 74, T&E is the second-most popular 1990s design on BGG. The main difference between the versions is that Y&Y has a hex grid instead of a square grid. Both versions are excellent games but you only need one of them.