Essen Spiel

Spiel15 – First impression of Wallace’s SHIPS

First Look at Martin Wallace’s SHIPS @ Essen Spiel 2015
by jack208

EXCERPT were at Treefrog to check out Wallace’s latest SHIPS and confirm rumors of MOONGHA Invasion in Essen.

TREEFROG in Spiel 2015

My coverage of Spiel 2015 started in Hall 1, and Treefrog’s booth was the first booth one would pass by as one entered Hall 1. A crowd was already gathered here on the first day itself; some to test out Treefrog’s new line-ups for this Spiel and others lining up to get a copy of their latest games which to would likely be in limited stock.

151008 Spiel 2015 Day One

After picking up my copy of SHIPS Collector Edition, I wanted to hang around their booth to see how the game plays especially when you have the designer Martin Wallace doing the rule explanation.

Martin Wallace teaching SHIPS at Essen Spiel 2015

Martin Wallace teaching SHIPS at Essen Spiel 2015

SHIPS is the 3rd episode in Wallace’s Automobile-Aeroplanes-Ships trilogy. Martin has also mentioned it’s part of his Transport theme games which would cover (arguably his best game) Age of Steam. In recent years, Automobile is his better games with a few lighter weight games after that such as the Discworld series, a few two player games and last year’s Mythotopia and Onward to Venus. Martin mentioned in his designer notes SHIPS is his return to his older style of game with more depth and complexity. A return-to-form Wallace is never a bad thing for Euro boardgamers.

Reminds you of Automobile, no?

Reminds you of Automobile, no?

A first glance at SHIPS game board and you would be thinking Automobile! The ages of ships form the outer border of the gameboard, and like Automobile, one has to pay (navigation tokens in this case) if you wish to build in a new age. Ships in older ages will incur direct VP loss and any ships older than 2 ages would be obsoleted automatically. Ouch… in Automobile at least you retain the decision when to shut down your obsolete factories.

151008 Spiel 2015 Day One

A major difference is there’s a game board here where players fight for control of cities or trade ports. Both are equally important. Trade ports provide you with goods while cities gave you various resources. The control of trade ports and cities also contribute to intermediate VP scoring when a new board area is developed.

This is only a first impression report since I’ve yet to play this game. We’ve our copy already so hopefully will get a first play at OTK soon. Is this going to be as good or even better than Automobile? Stay tune for a full sessrep for Wallace’s latest game in his Transport series.

MOONGHA – All good things come to those who err… wait

While my main objective at the Treefrog booth would be SHIPS, there’s a (errrm) side mission to check out Wallace’s long-delayed not-forgotten hopefully-good Kickstarter game of MOONGHA INVADERS. This project was kickstarted back in October 2012 – yeah,it’s THAT long – and it seemed the game is now fully printed and ready to be shipped out to Kickstarter pledgers… except we still need to wait until Treefrog’s done with selling Moongha at Essen first. Haiz.

Moongha Invaders spotted at Essen Spiel 2015

Moongha Invaders spotted at Essen Spiel 2015



To check out what brought back from Essen Spiel, look at our Loot GeekList

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