About 600 people are expected to converge on Wellington next week for New Zealand's largest board game convention.

The annual Wellycon event is this year honouring Wellingtonian Shem Phillips, whose game Raiders of the North Sea was nominated for the international Spiel des Jahres (game of the year) awards.

"It's a really big deal for a New Zealander to be nominated," said Wellycon spokesman Christoph Martens.

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Phillips will be at the convention on a game designers panel, and the theme of this year's event will be "Vikings", to fit the theme of his board game.

This will be the 11th year Wellycon has run, and Martens said it continues to grow.

Wellycon drew in hundreds of people in 2017 and is expected to bring in even more this year. Photo / Mark Tantrum
Wellycon drew in hundreds of people in 2017 and is expected to bring in even more this year. Photo / Mark Tantrum

He hoped to see up to 700 people pouring in the doors over Queen's Birthday weekend.

"We have lots of things going on from tournaments to play-to-win."

Hundreds of players are expected to bring their own board games from home to lend to the convention's "library" of borrowed games that others can learn and play.

There will be a section where players can learn a new game and play it, then go into a draw to win the game and take it home.

There will also be a beginners' area for people who don't know much about non-traditional board games, where they can learn some favourites including Carcassone and Settlers of Catan.

Wellingtonian Shem Phillips is being honoured this year for his nomination for an international board game award for his game Raiders of the Lost Sea. Photo / Mark Tantrum
Wellingtonian Shem Phillips is being honoured this year for his nomination for an international board game award for his game Raiders of the Lost Sea. Photo / Mark Tantrum

Attendees can also speak to game designers and listen to a panel speak about the process of designing a game.

Plenty of volunteers will be at hand to help people learn about new games.

Up to 40 people will also be able to join in a specially designed "mega game" on Saturday called Watch the Skies, where players try to prevent an alien infiltration of an alternative Earth in the 1960s.

"Board gaming has the advantage to get people off the screen," Martens said.

"I feel board games have this unique feature of bringing people of all sorts together, especially in Wellington.

Christoph Martens said board games can bring people of all types together and get them away from screens. Photo / Supplied
Christoph Martens said board games can bring people of all types together and get them away from screens. Photo / Supplied

Wellycon chairwoman Ceedee Doyle said it was "all about the atmosphere".

"We have a great community; people look out for each other, get stuck in, play some great games, and get to know some new friends."

There will also be a "black ties and board games" night on Friday, where a limited number of people can dress up and have a fancy dinner while playing.

Tickets for the dinner and for the convention are available online.