Essen Spiel

Essen Spiel 2014–Loot List

Spiel 2014’s now done and dusted. While the Big Boys did not have as many new releases as we’d thought, as my buddy Kaz commented this gave the indie publishers – and they are growing not just in numbers but also influence – more opportunity to showcase their new titles. Which did happen. And we’ll write more about these indie titles over the next few weeks as we wrapped up our Essen thoughts and put them into writing. We’ve taken close to 1,800 pictures and while we’ve shared some highlight pics thru our Facebook wall page (and also Boardgame-to-Go’s Facebook page), there are more pictures for you to enjoy later. 🙂

Let me quickly list down the games we’ve acquired from this Essen trip – most of these would be making an appearance in our upcoming BGC Retreat which is happening this Dec 6th & 7th (see Retreat invite here), so if you are looking to testdrive these games in a splendid environment with a group of fabulous gamers, dun miss the opportunity to sign up for our Retreat while places are still available.


  • 1911 Scott vs Amulsen – limited copies; 2-player game
  • 27th Passenger – who-dunit genre, Greek designer
  • 6 Nimmt Anniversary – an anniversary edition of a popular party game, plays up to 10
  • Abluxxen – possibly this year’s best card game with new mechanics (ie not another trick-taking) and the IGA 2014 nominee. We’ve incoming English-edition stocks (as game “Linko”) so if you wish to book yourself a copy, pls let us know
  • Alchemists – lots of buzz in this Essen, was at #1 & #2 positions before settling in at #4 in the Fairplay ranking. Sold out in Essen; app or game master needed
  • Antike II Upgrade Pack – Mac’s upgrade to his first rondel game. Still a fave of mine so getting the Upgrade Pack is a must. New gamers should just get Antike II
  • Aquasphere – Feld’s latest after La Isla. Was mid-table in Fairplay before jumping up to #1 on the last day
  • Arkwright – one of the two games from Spielworxx for this Essen, and the only one that’s not sold out before Essen. A heavy 4-hour economic game. tsk tsk

  • Bang XP – Valley of Shadows – more mini expansions for Bang! (card); this was available earlier (2011) in Czech edition and this year dVG is making the English version
  • Cat 10 – Japanese card game re-printed in Chinese by Swan Pan
  • Colis Party – a card game from an indie French publisher. Bought as a package with the other one Pistolet
  • Colt Express – a game played around (literally) a train. Ludonaut’s offering for this Essen after last year’s strong showing eg Lewis & Clark
  • Concordia XPGermania / Britannia – more maps for one of last year’s popular title, the latest rondel from Mac Gerdt
  • Coup Guatemala – another variant of Coup, this time from an indie publisher and billed as a gamer’s version of Coup
  • Cyclades Titans – the long awaited Titans expansion to Cyclades

  • Dark Tales – new title from DVG (the company that gave us Bang!)
  • Dark Tales XP – Snow White – expansion to above (basically setting the theme of the game into the Snow White world)
  • Deus – the only game from Pearl this year and one that’s buzzing at the top of the Fairplay chart for days (sharing the top with Alchemist) until it settled into 5th
  • Diamonds – a quick fun party, essentially trick taking using “diamonds”. No, not the real ones of course. 😛
  • Dragonscroll – the Lamont Bros showpiece for this Essen
  • Dungeon Lords Anniversary Paladin – the 5th anniversary edition of Vlada’s game; in the box edition
  • El Gaucho – from Yunnan, we now move to sheep farming. Lots of sheep in this game. Hope it plays as well as Yunnan
  • Essen 2013 The Game – a gamer’s collector set if you may. A game featuring easily recognizable publishers and titles from last years. Note: This is not the same Essen game which was kickstarted under Game Salute
  • Evolution (boardgame) – a card-to-board implementation of the popular card game from indie Russian designers. This was kickstarted with overproduced components. But who does not love a huge dino meeple 😛

  • Florenza – another kickstarter; this time an improved 2nd edition version of an old title
  • Gloobz – dexterity game from Gigamic, looks like a candidate for Game Zero in our Retreat
  • Gold Ahoy – one of few new titles from Mayfair
  • Green Deal – potentially a surprise game. Economic, business building, environmental friendly. Indie publisher.
  • Hansa Teutonica Map – Britannia – another map extension to a solid game
  • Historia – one of the few new Civ game titles this year; this one was a kickstarter

  • Imperial Settlers – after Robinson Crusoe & Legacy, Portal’s on a good run and this year’s Imperial Settlers (based on their 51st State mechanic) looks like continuing that run
  • Johari – one of Mayfair’s 2014 titles, looks good to be a Game One potential for our Retreat
  • Keyflower The Merchants – the next expansion to the Keyflower game. Looks like no more new Key series?
  • Kobayakawa – IELLO’s trick taking micro game, republished from a Japanese title
  • La Granja – technically not an Essen 2014 release since it was sold out by Spielworxx months before Oct but if this had been released in this Essen, we think it should take the #1 position in the Fairplay ranking (given the relatively weak entries this year compared to last)
  • Madam Ching – a beautifully illustrated game from Hurricane which looks like another good candidate for our Retreat
  • Mangrovia – one of Zoch’s titles for this Essen (beside their reprinted Manila)

  • Massilia (Masterprint) – finally the Indiegogo kickstarted game is now picked up by Quinned as part of their Masterprint series (who’s so nice as to offer a free copy to all Indiegogo backers)
  • Murano – a possible surprise hit from Mayfair (who has been “quiet” in recent years). Game looks very Euro and Fairplay seems to agree, ranking them as #6
  • Mythotopia LE – Martin Wallace’s contribution to this Essen (beside Onward to Venus). As per Treefrog, this comes with standard and Limited Edition
  • Panamax – seen their prototype last year and finally got the chance to play it this year. From the designers who gave us Madeira, let’s see how this one plays. Another Essen sold-out.
  • Pandemic the Cure – continuing the tradition of successful board-to-dice conversion, Pandemic the Cure is very good and even if you did not like Pandemic (board), you may like this
  • Panthalos – Bernd Eisenstein’s latest; this one has the largest board among his other titles but probably best with 4 (not 5)
  • Patchwork – Uwe’s new 2-player game, this time published by Lookout/Mayfair. Settled at a surprising #8 rank in Fairplay (not easy for 2-player game to get into the Fairplay ranking)
  • Pan T’es Mort – the 2nd game from the French company Facily Jeux. This one is fun with a russian roulette mechanic
  • Port Royal – one of Pegasus Spiele new offerings

  • Power Grid Anniversary Edition – one of the enduring classics. This year Friese did not produce any new standalone Power Grid maps, instead he gave us the 10th Anniversary deluxe edition which comes with two new maps – North America and Europe
  • Samurai Spirit – Antoine’s new game. Let’s hope it plays better than Tokaido.
  • Samurai Swords XP – Rising Sun – the first expansion to Samurai Swords (a Bang! variant which does not have player elimination). This expansion brings Samurai Swords closer in complexity with Bang!
  • Sblap – a fun memory + dexterity game from our Spanish designer frens Edigrafica
  • Staufer Dynasty – a strong offering from Zman for this year. Very Euro and looks a good medium-weight game. Ranked #7 in Fairplay.
  • Sun & Moon – ??

  • Tash Kalar XP – Everfrost – an expansion to last year’s Tash Kalar with an upgrade pack to a newer game board etc. It’s Vlada for you.
  • Terra Mystica XP – Fire & Ice – nothing much need to be added for this. Just get it!
  • UFO Farmer – a new variant of another game we enjoyed Super Farmers. This time we go UFO Farming! The Granna booth even came decorated with a large UFO hanging from their ceiling
  • Wir Sind das Volk – a game about the East vs West Germany, from the same designer who gave us the tactically challenging King of Siam. This game plays much longer.
  • ZhanGuo – What’s Your Game (from Italy) is on a good run, started with Asgard, reinforced by Madeira and this year their new title ZhanGuo ended at #3 in Fairplay. Impressive.

BGC Library

Since we have a nice boardgame library back at OTK, we are always on the lookout for games that we should add to the library. Here’s the list of non-2014 games that we’ve now added to our BGC Library at OTK. Most of them would be available for play during our free Friday OTK Meetup (get your invites from our Facebook wall).

  1. Age of Steam Map – Mexico, Spain/Portugal
  2. Age of Steam Map – North Eastern USA . South Africa
  3. Blooming Garden
  4. Carcassonne XP – The Count (Hans im Gluck edition)
  5. Carpe Astra – the prequel to Among the Stars? haha
  6. Coup Royal – the german edition of Sneaks & Snitches
  7. Festival
  8. Heck Meck BBQ
  9. King of Siam – as a bundle with Wir Sind das Volk
  10. Like.. The Social Game
  11. Mars Need Mechanic
  12. Om Nom Nom
  13. Palaces of Carrara
  14. Sticheln – used German 1st Edition copy
  15. Toscana
  16. Wolf im Schafsplz

Some notable absents are

  • Kanban – we are already pulling in a batch so there’s no need for me to pick up a copy in Essen
  • Orleans – one of our misses! Should have picked this up on Day One or Two
  • Abyss – would have picked this up but it’s in Germany and the card contains text. To wait for the English ver
  • Nations the Dice Game – same as above (Grman text)
  • Puerto Rico ALEA – so they confirmed this as ALEA #16. The list is now broken 😦
  • Beasty Bar – a surprising Fairplay; large oversize card

That’s our haul for this Essen. We’ve them listed in a geeklist so feel free to comment there or shout here if you have any thoughts or question. Remember – if you wish to testplay these in the most intense and engaging gaming atmosphere, check out our BGC Retreat happening this Dec 6th & 7th. 🙂

And do also check out what my gaming buddy Kaz has brought back from the same trip in his KTRLS Essen Spiel 2014 Loot geeklist.

Boardgamegeek Geeklist

Categories: Essen Spiel

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