Each year in Essen Germany boardgamers make a trek to see one of the biggest boardgame conventions around. (could be the world at least Europe)
This was the second time I want there with a pocket full of money and a convenient method of storing the games. And like last year I came home with quite a haul of games.
What one buys at Essen really depends on the person going. I’ve seen people with giant crates and boxes all for the purpose of buying games. Sometimes exclusive stuff sometimes to be the first to get something.
Personally I tend to aim for smaller games that either have a limited run, are out of print (but on sale), or won’t really be available in stores. For me any large game or big game that will be available at my local gamestore can be bough there. The result is the large collection you see displayed in the picture.
Here’s a quick list of the games and a very short description. I’ll probably have reviews of the varying games up as I go along. From bottom to top left to right.
Brawling Barons – Had the fortune of playing this against the designer and actually making it so he barely beat me. The art is subpar in my opinion but the game and its mechanics more than make up for it. In the game you try to build and expand your land scoring points with buildings or sending soldiers to the King’s army. A small for clever game.
The Rats in the Walls – Based on the story with the same name by Lovecraft, this game is a variation of Rats in the Walls. What’s surprising is that it comes with 30 plastic brain tokens. Which is a lot given the price.
Master’s Gallery – A card game involving paintings and art critics. Not entirely sure how it goes from there.
Pentos – A card game in which each player is an apprentice trying to create a spell. Succeed and you don’t get hurt so much, fail and bad things happen. A lot.
Wo Ist Jack Die Ripper – I fished this out of a bargain bin for 3 bucks. A small cardgame in which you have to figure out who Jack The Ripper is. I think, I still have to take some time to translate the german instructions.
Bad Hollywood – Pitch bad B movies to hollywood studios. Again german instructions so I still have to figure them out.
Sumeria – Area control game from Reiver Games (they also made Carpe Astra). Haven’t studied the manual too much but it seems like a fun game for a small price.
Kuryo – This is a sort of Trick Taking game but where your cards in posession have effects on the game. I even got it signed by the designer. Also the art is very pretty.
Flame War – This is a game of Extreme Moderation. It’s based on forums and flamewars with a lot funny cards referencing known stuff to anyone on the internet.
Buccaneer Bones – A fun little dice game where you have to move your ships to island through rolling dice. If you reach the island you gain a bonus which affect the die rolls you make.
Abandon Ship – Rat themed games are few and most have the rats as the ‘antagonist’. This one has you try and rescue rats from a sinking ship. The board is really fancy and I’ll show it to you soon.
Steam Noir Revolution – This game really pretty art and some interesting mechanics in creating a revolution. But the emperor doesn’t just let it happen. Interestingly if the Emperor wins (a non-player) the player with the lowest score actually wins.
Mutiny – Somehow I ended up with more pirate themed games. In this game you stage a mutiny on a ship while the captain is out. Surprisingly this game uses no cards at all. It’s all about bidding and bluffing.
Sewer Pirats – This game was cheap and it has minis. With rats in it. Apparently the goal is to find the most treasure with you rag tag crew of vermin.
S-Evolution – A trick taking game where your current evolutionary progress dictates how strong your cards are. In caveman times you can’t even see your cards, in modern times you can create trumps.
Berserk War of the Realms – A card base tactical wargame that I backed via kickstarter. Comes with 6 armies and fancy boards. Pretty art and a manual I’ll have to study. Supposedly this game is bigger than Magic in Russia.
A Study in Emerald – Technically I didn’t get this at Essen. I backed it via kickstarter. But I did get to chat briefly with the designer, mostly to thank him. It’s the most complicated and involved game I own, but it’s fun.