Gen Con

The board games you need to know about from Gen Con 2016

I’ve been telling everyone that Gen Con stood for “General Convention,” and that it was shortened for the sake of being unique. But this is not true. It’s actually short for “Geneva Convention”—named for Lake Geneva, where 12 Chicagoan members of the IFW (International Federation of Wargaming) met when they couldn’t make it to their club convention in 1967. The convention has met in California, Florida, and Pennsylvania in years since, but the event’s beating heart has always been in the Midwest. This year saw over 60,000 people in attendance. The day I arrive in Indianapolis is clear and blue…


Chesh is the drunken, rule-breaking sister of Chess

What would happen if Chess could get drunk? Would the knight fall off their horse? Would the queen take a fancy to one of the pawns? Would the rook go diagonally? This is what the slur-titled Chesh looks to explore. It’s the next game from Damian Sommer, who has already mixed up the choose-your-own-adventure game with the IGF-nominated The Yawhg, and now we find him throwing grog down the dusty throat of a classic board game. The hooligan! But no, Sommer’s idea is pretty smart, potentially opening up Chess to new players by ditching all of its centuries-old rules. All of them?…


Boardgames are a pain. This app may help

Boardgames are great, but they are an enormous pain in the ass. This is both part of the appeal and the reason more people don’t get into them. They’re heavy, generally expensive, they require hours to set up and take apart, as well as gobs of free time penciled into a handful of people’s schedules. (We are speaking here of the deep, weighty, Boardgamegeek-type of boardgames, not the anything-goes social interations that, say, the Spiel des Jahres celebrates.)  So the 700,000 people that have signed up for Roll20 since it launched in 2012 have sought something easier. The online service…