Essen Notes from Afar

I did not attend Essen but read many a geeklist and just made it through the eight pages of BoardGameGeek videos!!  Thanks to Jess and Beth for presenting and everyone else at the ‘geek who made the videos possible!

Here are my thoughts after watching the videos:

Games I am interested in:

Ghost Stories by Antoine Bauza – The designer is definitely becoming one of the ‘hot’ designers in the board game universe.  And while Ghost Stories has been on my radar since its release, after watching the demo of its expansion I realize it is a game I should probably get in my collection.

Seasons – not released into 2012, this game looks very interesting and very pretty.  I like pretty!

Ora et Labora – I have heard mixed things about this game but after watching the video it seems very interesting, playable and the pieces look great!

Santiago de Cuba –  in the Cuba family which is a great heritage!  And art by Michael Menzel – AWESOMENESS!

Friday – I have never been a huge fan of 2F’s games: playable but dry (I am looking at you Power Grid).  However, Friday seems to be a very cool concept.  I like the idea that it is a solo game but at the same time I wonder if the idea of a solo game defeats the purpose of board games?

Air Show – This is a cool theme and I definitely want to play this game.  The artwork on the plane tiles is awesome!

Tschak – this looks like a very cool game but for the type of game it is I wonder if it plays too long

Stalag 17 – cool theme!  I was a fan of Escape from Colditz as a young kid.  Good stuff!

Upon A Salty Ocean – A terrible name for a game…TERRIBLE!  But, the game play looks good.  Definitely want to give it a try.

Coney Island – Michael Schacht makes games that are light enough for the average person but contain enough decisions/strategy for the serious gamer.  Coney Island seems to be in the same vein.  I was thinking that I would not like the theme but after watching the Essen video I definitely would like to try this game!

Mechanics I enjoyed:

Some of these mechanics were not necessarily new but I certainly enjoyed watching them in action and being reminded of them.

Evolution: Origins of Species – the use of cards in cool.  I like cards that have multiple uses!

Kessen – I didn’t catch the actual name of this game – I am going to have to go back to the videos to try and find it!  The mechanism uses deckbuilding to win goal cards.

Old Man in the Forest – A Martin Wallace simple card game that has a bidding system where the winnings are the cards players used to bid.

Paper Clip Railways & String Railways – in the latter game people use pieces of string to connect cities and in the former players use paper clips to represent their railways.  Paper clips do have the advantage of being adjustable in length.

Fun Games:

Just a list of games that seem that they might be light and fun.  Look them up on the Geek for more information.

  • Fistfull of Penguins – dice and animals
  • Japon Brand’s String Railways – novel use of string as your railroad and also used as board boundary
  • Master’s of Commerce – a free for all economic party game
  • Dixit Jinx – a very quick version of Dixit without the amazing art but still could be a fun five minute game
  • Sarena – A cool abstract
  • 23 – could be the new No Thanks!
  • Flying Cheese – my daughter would love to launch pieces of cheese across the table
  • On the Cards – a very clever mixing of regular card game rules to make a new card game.  Lots of replayability but will it be fun?
  • Pictomania – a drawing game – not too sure about this one.
If you made it this far through the post then THESE ARE THE GAMES I WANT!
This looks like a deep adventure game with some neat mechanics.  Not usually my type of game but this does not seem to be your 4 hour game of Descent.  VERY COOL!
By the designer of Dominion, in this game you get to play a mad scientist building devilish devices…cue sinister laugh…this looks cool!




Favourite Quotes:

Jess Damherst (presenter) when introducing Mark Chaplin and telling Aldie that the last name was spelled like Charlie Chaplin…

“He (Charlie Chaplin) was a quiet guy”


The designer/publisher of Broad Peak the expansion for K2…

“It is a quick game…it plays 15 days instead of 18 days long”    Now that is a long game!!!  Anyone got any vacation coming so we can play this game  🙂



About Clive

Just an average guy who loves board games, movies, musics, books, comic books, video games and anything else fun.
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3 Responses to Essen Notes from Afar

  1. Thanks a lot for this great review of Essen, this is one of the best article I read on the subject. By the way, Ghost Stories is part of my top 5 games for more than one year now (and i play it alone almost all times…more fun…haha). Here’s a little summary of my thoughts on Essen 2011 :

    Top 11 games you shouldn’t miss (2011)
    11-Ristorante Italia
    10-Air Show
    7-Moral Conflict 1941
    6-Panic Station
    5-Blood Bowl Team Manager
    4-Master Of Commerce

    for more thoughts on boardgame, follow me on twitter :

  2. David Short says:

    Great Essen summary.

    One question: Where did you get your info for Dixit Jinx? It doesn’t have an entry on BGG. I love Dixit and your little blurb sounds cool about it.

  3. Clive says:

    Dixit Jinx is not as ‘complex’ in art work as regular Dixit. It was on one of the BGG Essen videos. I will try to find the link.

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