Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Gamers' games

I spent last weekend in Italy at a convention organized by La Tana dei Goblin, the largest board gaming community in Italy. Besides their warmth, which goes without saying, I want to talk about what kind of games they were playing.

The fist game people were talking about when we (NSKN) got there was Antiquity. This is a civilization game, with asymmetric victory conditions, something a heavy gamer will enjoy. Someone ordered this game from Germany just to have it in time to play it at the convention. It arrived Friday evening, but it only hit the table on Sunday, after we left. With people arriving late at night, Friday was the day of 'normal' games and I guess the most complex strategy game played was A Game of Thrones, which lasted for the full 10 turns and almost 6 hours.

Saturday was the day for the Sword of Rome, a historical board game set in Italy (no big surprise here) which lasted for almost 11 hours. It is a game made by GMT, therefore a war game, but a heavyweight one, with a play time according to the rules of 6 hours. Besides this, more games hit the tables, and I will only count Twilight Struggle, Starcraft and Maria. As you can see, not all of them are games to keep the player in front of the table for the entire day, but most of them are seriously committing people to play for at least two hours.

Sword of Rome

Saturday evening, we gave away and unboxed later on Warriors & Traders: Italia. It was a nice moment, but also with a bit of cold sweat - my old fear of speaking in public - and as soon as this was over, we received request of playing the expansion. We sat down at the table at 10 PM and we were three experienced Warriors & Traders players and three people who never played this game before. After about 15 minutes of setup and another 25 minutes of explanations, we started playing. It took the "new" players about 1 turn and a half to really figure the game out and start making a strategy. I won't say much more about Warriors & Traders other than by 2 AM we had a winner for our six-player game and that I found a positive answer to my article from 10 days ago. 

Warriors & Traders: Italia

The same night, a group of people went to sleep early, at least by gamers' standard. Around 1 AM the "diplomacy" group went to sleep. They were preparing to wake up at 6:30 the next morning and play Diplomacy, an old but brilliant Avalon Hill game, again something that they knew would take the full day. Having left the game set up on a table from Saturday evening, they kept their promise and at 10 AM of Sunday when I went to the gaming room, they were half way through the game.

I must confess that about two years ago I had my mind set up that in Italy people have too much sun and beauty around to play board games. I had been already proven the opposite and I am happy about it. I like gamers' games and I can only hope to see more and more people being caught by them. And how was your weekend? What games did you play? Any long gaming session in progress left for the next week? 

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  1. One of the best Con ever made!!!

  2. If you want to play board games in the land of ravioli, olive oil and wine then I will have to say - yes, indeed! It is the best Con ever! :)

  3. Who wouldn't? What more can you want... games by the swimming pool, great food and a lot of sun. All of these on top of great people and great games :D