Birgittas udde with our 2016 trenches. Plan by Ethan Aines.
Two years ago myself and Ethan Aines headed the first professional excavation at Birgittas udde, a small Medieval stronghold. It’s on a promontory into Lake Boren near the town of Motala, on land belonging to Ulvåsa manor. One of Ulvåsa’s first known inhabitants was a young strong-willed 14th century noblewoman who would one day become Saint Bridget of Sweden.
Our main results were these.
- The stronghold was built c. 1250-75, long before Bridget’s day.
- It was never used much, being kept in shape as a refuge but rarely inhabited.
- It sits on a Mesolithic settlement site coeval with the famous Motala sites nearby.
Get the report from Archive.org!
As has become my habit, I spent two days at LinCon, a big four-day gaming event in Linköping. This is two hours’ drive from my home, and my nearest big gaming con. For some reason Sweden’s capital where I live has nothing on a similar scale. I played eight games, seven of which are favourites of mine that I actually own but didn’t bring. There are several free lending libraries of games at the con.
- Gaia Project (2017). A re-skinned Terra Mystica, i.e. another highly replayable and varied Euro cube-pusher.
- RoboRally (1994). Program a robot using a random set of instruction cards and then see your plans unravel as another player’s robot bumps you off track and laser-zaps your rear.
- Tigris & Euphrates (1997). Tactics and resource management in Bronze Age Mesopotamia.
- No Thanks (2004). Short abstract push-your-luck.
- Steampunk Rally (2015). Build and drive your own brass-encrusted early 1900s scifi vehicle along a bumpy race track. Hadn’t heard of this one before, but I’d be happy to play it again.
- Qwirkle (2006). Abstract: illiterate Scrabble.
- Innovation (2010). Intricate card game about advancing civilization.
- Stone Age (2008). Worker placement game centred on a Neolithic village with surrounding natural resources.
At the con auction I bought Hanabi and Sid Meier’s Civilization – the good 2010 game, not the crappy 2002 one that I bought by mistake at last year’s con. I sold Death Angel, Hand of the King, Codenames Deep Undercover and Castles of Mad King Ludwig.
2018 was my sixth LinCon. Here are my impressions of last year’s con.
LinCon, a gaming convention famous for its free tea, finally has an official tea mug!