Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Essen 2012 interest list: Fresh themes, euros and expansions

As in the last few years I'll be going to Essen with a list of things to watch out for. I have based it on Eric Martin's preview list on boardgamegeek. It is not necessary that they are releases on the show, just that I haven't tried them yet.

Phil Eklund explaining High Frontier to my friends at Essen 2010

In some cases I'm adding opinions and reviews.

I will be tweeting from the show as @jurdj on the Thursday and Friday (which also appear at my Facebook) and post a few pics here if time allows. And Saturday we will play a few of the games we bought before heading home.

Have a look at last year's list and my experiences last year. And here's my 2010 list as well with the report. And for the sentimalists, here's my report on Essen 2009.

I've arranged the games in a couple of categories:
  • Really cool, fresh themes: I don't really care (yet) what the mechanisms are.
  • Ameritrash: Old Skool, dudes on a map, hybrids
  • Euros
  • An undefined group with reasonable themes and perhaps some Ameritrash mechanisms
  • Expansions: there´s a number of expansions coming out to games I like. These are easy pick ups.
Today I will look at the fresh themes, Euros and expansions, later today at the Ameritrash and undefined games.

Cool theme

1984: Animal Farm
The theme is brilliant of course, and a negotiation game with a 'forced cooperation' idea could be a great game

Always felt that this was an epic contest at high stakes. It now comes as a dice game with a push-your-luck mechanism.

A game on music festivals. Awesome theme! Seems like the rules are simple. Well, I just need to check that out

I like the card driven, high interaction idea in the game and the use of four different factions. I understand from some comments that the game is not fully 'historical' but that's a minor gripe to me if the gameplay is fun

A game about queuing in late communist eastern Europe is about the best theme I can think of. Although it may prove to be a dry hand management and worker placement euro derivant, laying your hands on some socialist nostalgia products from the 1980s makes up for a lot.

The Pioneer Card Game: Chapter resources
19th Century pioneering, cool! Apparently you draw up your cards in a row, and they will then be resolved, maybe a bit like Galaxy Trucker?


I love the Neuroshima world, but was badly disappointed by 51st State. This, however, looks like one-on-one combat! But it might actually belong in the euro section.

Looks beautiful, and is a straight up euro. But at least it's about fighting.

Apparently, the Winter expansion to 51st State will finally make it the game it was supposed to be all along. Instead of scoring VP, this will result in an end battle and includes some nice dice.  Let's see. Would be nice to give a 2nd life to my copy of New Era.

Try to describe a phenomenon (on your mission card) in as few pixels as possible. Not a new release (although from this year), but I played this with lots of fun.


Of course, the next set of Dixit cards is on the shopping list. If you don't know Dixit yet, this is me shilling for Dixit. But there's also Nate Owens and Matt Drake giving this game the thumbs up.

Evolution is a fun game, with real good evolution mechanics. Think Ursuppe/Primordial Soup. Might be nice to get the expansion (I will need to convince Rob, who owns the basic game).

I like Lupin, so let's get this expansion. More scenario's, equipment, character cards.

Bang! is a fun game and with a Samurai theme, it may be even more fun. According to the blurp, it's faster than the original. Good! 

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