Essen Spiel

BGC in Essen Spiel 2013 – Day One (24/10) PM

Boardgamecafe.net in Essen Spiel 2013 – Day One (24/10) Afternoon
By jack208

EXCERPT
The afternoon of Day One saw us visiting the usual suspects of Days of Wonder, AbacusSpiele, Amigo Spiele, and Pearl Games. We also covered some of the high-buzz games of this Essen namely YUNNAN, MADEIRA, KEYFLOWER, RUSSIAN RAILROADS and BRUXELLES 1893. And there’s one physical football simulation game called KICKET!

SPIEL 2013 – DAY ONE AFTERNOON 24/10

Continuing where we left off… after what I would deemed a good Day One morning (read sessrep here) from a games haul perspective, let’s check out how our Day One afternoon went.

Our first stop….

DAYS OF WONDER

TICKET TO RIDE

Arguably their best seller… it’s always fun to see which map expansions Days of Wonder rolls out each year. 2013 looked like NEDERLAND‘s year as that’s the map for their Volume 4 collection.

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I actually find their Map Volume expansions – which are just two-sided (sometimes single-sided) map expansion boards, not game box – to be more practical than a full game box extension (eg TTR Europe, TTR Marklin).

click to see more click to see more click to see more

The first 3 volumes of the Ticket to Ride map expansions – Asia, India (Switzerland) and Africa. Have you played them all? All four volumes available from our webstore.

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Worryingly, Days of Wonder is not immune from the “online” trend and have lots of iPad with their TTR app demo. Come back from the dark side, my young padawans. :S

SMALL WORLD

The highlights of the Days of Wonder booth have to be these nicely hand painted miniatures from their SMALL WORLD game, featuring ….

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… the SPIDERINE,

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….THE WIZARD

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… THE AMAZON, and …

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… the SKELETON. Not cheap though, this set of four would set you back EU225 (shipping not included). Not exactly a SmallWorld fan, so we didn’t bring home any. 😛

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This (above) we did… the Halloween Freighter expansion for Ticket to Ride. For just EU8. Pumpkin trains. Can’t resist. 🙂

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SMALL WORLD debuted a 6 player board expansion, and we got to take a quick look. It’s modular and tacks on to the main Small World board to allow one more player to join the fray. If you are a Small World fan, and wants to play the game with more than 5 – check this expansion out. It works with both Small World (original) and Underground.

RELIC RUNNERS

Days of Wonder’s new title for 2013 was RELIC RUNNERS, and you can definitely feel it by the way they set up their booths. There’s Relic Runners board on almost every table for you to try out.

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The board did not look as “pretty” as a Days of Wonder game (then again we were comparing this with very high benchmarks like TTR, Memoir 44, Shadows over Camelot etc) but the relic pieces were very well made.

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The game is essentially about Move-n-Collect (relics). The DOW facilitators did mention there’s some bit of planning ahead involved in the game, but given this was a game we’ll be able to bring in soon as part of DOW restocks, we didn’t pick up a copy there.

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Ah… crystal skull? A few more of these and you can swap them with the TZOLKIN set. 🙂

ARGENTUM VERLAG

YUNNAN

We now arrived at Argentum’s booth and one of their highly anticipated release YUNNAN. More because of it’s theme – tea industry – rather than the mechanics.

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YUNNAN is a worker placement game set in the Pu-er tea dynasties era of China. It did offer a few twists to the standard worker placement game and the game is mostly tactical. It did give us the feeling of JASE.

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Oh… the Russian Railroad expanding into Yunnan? Pu’er all the way to Kremlin? 😛

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Game board for YUNNAN. There’s two distinct part to the map; the bottom where you see all the buildings are where the worker placement takes place, while the top is where you deliver tea – the farther provinces obviously scoring you more points but you need to establish a network to reach there.

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Ah… someone to teach us Yunnan. 😛

ABACUSSPIELE

HANABI

It’s then onwards to AbacusSpiele’s booth for the traditionally yearly ZOOLORETTO Spiel promo. If you don’t know, AbacusSpiele (the publisher for Zooloretto) usually prints a new giveaways promo for this game every year for Essen Spiel.

Obviously this year they also have a new dice version of the game ZOOLORETTO THE DICE GAME, which we did pick up a copy as it looked fun!

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We also picked up a few copies of the Hanabi Player mat (above). Useful if you intend to do organized play – or to dress up a session of Hanabi.

But no, we didn’t pick up the Hanabi CE. 😛

SPLOTTER SPELLEN

ROADS & BOATS

For me personally, this was one of the many highlights for this Spiel – the re-print of the 4th edition of ROADS & BOATS.

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All the reprinted copies ready to be picked up from the Splotter booth… our job was to get them safely into the hands of our local customers. 🙂

AMIGO SPIELE

DOWNFALL OF POMPEII

Good to see this old fave getting reprinted after being OOP for so long. And in a smaller box size than the first edition.

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GALAPAGOS

AMIGO Spiele had an interesting game this year GALAPAGOS. I think I did have some pics of the game but probably not in this Day One catalog.

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BOARDGAME CLUB

Can’t remember which group / association these pics were taken from – but it’s a boardgame club or library where they have some old (OOP) games displayed in glass shelves.

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An idea for BGC? Hmmm….

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BRAIN GAMES

OM NOM NOM

I usually do not sit down to play thru a game session in Spiel. Not because I do not want / like to but the huge number of games one would like to explore simply meant we prioritized what we need to do. Occasionally I do sit thru a rule walk-thru which can provide you with some idea how a game plays – then again you can also go thru a rule walk-thru online (or by reading the rulebook).

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OM NOM NOM from Brain Games, a relatively young game publishing company in Lithuania was one such exception (where I actually got to play a complete session). Maybe becoz we were told the game can be played under 15 min. 🙂

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The game is played over just 3 rounds; and in each round you have just four simple actions: roll all the dice (and sort according to symbols), select/play your predator cards (one by one until all six are played), resolve / score, and clean-up.

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The aim is to play a “higher” predator card to eat (nom nom) the lower predators including the dice. If more than one players have played the “higher” predator cards, they divide the catch.

Since everyone needs to eventually play ALL their 6 (similar) predator cards; there’s an element of bluff or “you go first with the high predators”

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What you want is to be yourself into this situation where there are lots of lower prey and everyone else has played their higher predator… leaving you to come in with the froggy and take all the catch.

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Yup, that’s a winning hand!

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Easy to learn, fun and plays under 15 min for up to 6. Yes, we kicked ourselves for not picking up a copy! We thought we could swing back on Day Two to get one… guess what? It’s all SOLD OUT!

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BRAIN GAMES also had another new 2013 release DIG MARS. Didn’t look as fun as OM NOM NOM. 😛

btw latest news (July 2014) is that OM NOM NOM won the 2014 Imagination Gaming UK Games EXPO Players Choice Silver award. Congrats!

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The busy Brain Games booth…. but Om Nom Nom all sold out, Oh No No.

LITTLE PRINCE

Saw Le Petit Prince – a popular young children’s book – being converted into a board game. Would definitely be checking this one (once Asmodee has stocks).

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MATTEL GAMES

MATTEL were holding a designer signing ceremony for two of their games released in 2013 – KRONER fur den KONIG and GEISTER GEISTER SCHATZSUCHMEISTER.

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KRONER FUR DEN KONIG
http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/146309/kronen-fur-den-konig

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Designed by Brian Yu. Looks Euro but being Mattel, it’s simplistic to cater for the family crowd.

GEISTER, GEISTER, SCHATZSUCHMEISTER!http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/146312/geister-geister-schatzsuchmeister

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This looked more promising – or at the very least came with cute little ghost meeples. 😛

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It’s another Brian Yu game and well, what do you know, this game was the winner for the 2014 Kinderspiel des Jahres award. 🙂

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Above: Celebrating their 2014 Kinderspiel des Jahres award!

HUCH & FRIENDS

The next booth we stumbled into was not a distributor in the normal sense. HUCH is a publisher and they published a wide list of games ranging from MADEIRA to KA-BOOM.

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As a publisher, HUCH could have opted for a smaller booth just to meet up with game designers or peeps interested to look for publishing houses. But no, instead they took up a larger area and made available most of the games published by them for free play.

MADEIRA

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So you can see MADEIRA next to a table of KEYFLOWER, and on the other side you may get to see KA-BOOM (below) in play as well.

KA-BOOM
http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/136245/ka-boom

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LOL. This one looks FUN!!

They also have their recent 2013 releases opened and displayed with their game boxes in glass cabinets. Made for pretty impressive showcases I’ve to say.

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MADEIRA is published by What’s Your Game which is part of the Hutter Trade group of publishers / designers / .distributors.

MARCHENBALL
http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/147906/marchenball

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A game about princess and the fairy tale ball? And Prince Charming, of course.

KEYFLOWER THE FARMERS

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The latest 2013 expansion THE FARMERS as an open display set. There were also playsets available in the HUCH booth.

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Above: This confirms KEYFLOWER is a family-oriented game? 😛

TYPISCH DEUTSCH?! DAS KAYA SPIEL
http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/147894/typisch-deutsch-das-kaya-spiel

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This was an interesting “culture” game ala party trivia but I suppose you need to have a good understanding of the German culture to appreciate this game.

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IGNIS
http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/136240/ignis

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I was interested with the abstract game these two were playing; the chap in orange looked like someone who teaches the game.

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IGNIS is about Fire & Water struggling for supremacy. It’s a 2-player game with one player assuming the Fire (orange) pieces and the other water (blue). Wind (white) and earth (yellow) are neutral tiles – and can be used by both players.

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Objective of the game is to eliminate your opponent’s tiles by pushing them off the grid. The grid would also be getting smaller as play progressed.

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The game can be taught very quickly (as most abstract game) and each session can be played quickly (as long as we do not over-think our moves). And no, I didn’t win. 😛

LINK IT

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NICHT JA, NICHT NEIN
http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/115435/nicht-ja-nicht-nein

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BGG said this is a 2011 game so I think this was a reprint for 2013.

MAUNA KEA
http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/146188/mauna-kea

Lava adventure, not in Pompeii but this time in some island in the South Pacific.

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DAS WENQUIZ
http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/136256/das-weinquiz

More trivia pursuits, this time questions on wine.

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MILLIONENRAUB
http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/147476/millionenraub

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Not unlike HOITY TOITY, this game is about robbing a museum of painting & sculptures.

FEUER & FLAMME
http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/136246/feuer-flamme

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This is a game designed by Stefan Dorra – he of BUCKET KING & PERGAMON!

HUCH & FRIENDS – and the Hutter Trade group – did bring a number of releases; some big hitters like MADEIRA and KEY FARMERS, and the rest relatively low-buzz games.

KICKET!

http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/140469/kicket

In the next booth, we came across a football simulation game – nope, not another table-top football simul like SUBBUTEO but a real-size (or almost) physical simulation ie you actually get to kick a ball!

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Okie okie.. you do not “actually” kick the ball but you kick the “miniature fella” that’ll kick the ball.

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The game can be played on any surfaces but a carpet-like green surface like the above would be the best.

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You even get miniature goalkeeper (GK) – and as to how the GK keeps goal for you, I do not know yet.

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And even transfer stickers for team number & name!

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I think they’ve not published the game yet. At the moment, it remains a concept prototype which they brought to conventions like these for ppl to try out – and get their feedback.

1862: RAILWAY MANIA IN THE EASTERN COUNTIES
http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/66837/1862-railway-mania-eastern-counties

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Mike Hutton’s latest 18xx, printed professionally. This game is set on the East England map and I’d wanted to have a rule walk-thru before deciding whether to pick up this title.

In the end, I didn’t. :S

R&D GAMES

KEYFLOWER: THE FARMERS

Next up was the R&D Games booth to pick up my Keyflower: The Farmers preorder.

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I think their t-shirt inspired our BGC Retreat 2013 t-shirt design. 🙂

QUINED has printed this as a MASTERPRINT edition #12A in early 2014. Time to re-start the MASTERPRINT collections? 😛

HANS IM GLUCK

RUSSIAN RAILROADS

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One of the most buzzed game of Spiel 2013. Partly because of the designer pedigree; this game was designed by the O&O fellas who were famous for a series of unique 18xx games published under the Double-O Games label.

Hans im Gluck published the German edition while our English edition came from Z-man Games.

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I’ve mixed feeling on this game; seeing it as more “mechanic” than a game. 😛

REPOS PRODUCTION

7 WONDERS

The next booth area was a really busy one… that’s what you get when you have the crowd pleasing 7 WONDERS on the table.

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Note: The “hats” seen on the head of the facilitators would tell you this is the REPOS PRODUCTION booth and not the ASMODEE setup. 😛

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What more when you get to play with giant-sized 7 WONDERS! Now you really need a LARGE table!

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Yup, all tables were playing 7 WONDERS! I suppose some tables might get to play with some of its expansions.

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Promos from the REPOS booth for their various games.

SPECIAL DISPLAY AREA

There’s a special display area where some games were put on display, but no play-set. We saw Eric Lang’s TRAINS & STATIONS (below) here.

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And also the 2nd edition of PANDEMIC.

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SPIELWORXX

KOHLE & KOLONIE

It’s the SPIELWORXX booth next as I can’t wait to pick up my preorder copy of KOHLE & KOLONIE.

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Not many may know but Spielworxx also published the VIRGIN QUEEN, which is now distributed by GMT Games for the English market.

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KOHLE & KOLONIE is the 2nd installment in the Trilogy with the 1st game being RUHRSCHIFFAHRT from Spiel 2012.

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I’ll like to know if they are on schedule to come out with the 3rd – and final – installment to this trilogy in this year’s Essen?

PEARL GAMES

BRUXELLES 1893

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Pearl Games (from Belgium) was next on our agenda as we took a quick look at their 2013 titles like pretty BRUXELLES 1893, and expansions to GINKGOPOLIS.

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This is the company that gave us TROYES, then GINKGOPOLIS and now BRUXELLES; and I find all the art on the games carry a similar look-n-feel.

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Surprised surprised – I’ve yet to play this game even though we’ve brought this to the tables in both our BGC Retreat 2013 and OTK Meetups.

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Picture with the designer of BRUXELLES 1893 – Espreman Etienne. Sssh.. dun tell him I’ve yet to play his game. 😛

SPIEL 2013 – DAY ONE GAMING

In the next installment of our Essen Spiel 2103 report, find out what were the games we did in the evening of Day One.

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Above: The gaming room which Moevenpick Hotel was kind enough to allocate for us in the evening.

Meantime feel free to check out all our pics from Day One of Essen Spiel 2013
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BGC Essen Spiel 2013

  • Spiel 2013 – Day One 24/10 Morning
  • Spiel 2013 – Day One 24/10 Afternoon
  • Spiel 2013 – Day Two 25/10 Morning
  • Spiel 2013 – Day Two 25/10 Afternoon
  • Spiel 2013 – Day Three 26/10
  • Spiel 2013 – Day Four 27/10

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