nearing and the
Essen 2014 list still not complete, in August I managed to slip in a game of
Marchia Orientalis, or the Ostmark as the Germans would say these days. The
Ostmark was on of the eastern border provinces of the medieval German empire,
won at great cost from the Slav population. At Essen I bought the game based on the theme
and the low price, considering that even if I didn’t know beforehand what the
game would be like, at least I wouldn’t suffer much. Essen
And while this not a bad game, it is also not very good. The low production values that result from the low price aren’t really a problem. The problem is that this game reuses mechanisms from other games, without adding anything interesting. There’s tile laying, with limitations on connecting tiles for which there are then some exceptions. There’s a central market, and some competition for different tiles, but in the end the amount of interaction is low. Worst of all is of course that it has nothing to do with the border struggles Middle Ages. The theme is just stuck on a bunch of mechanisms.
I’ll spare you the details of the rules. Suffice to say that there is an interesting puzzle in there which Gerard managed to maximize. I felt sorry a bit for Rob who had decided straight away that this was game was not worth his time. His plan to sabotage the game was foiled and the variable game ending drove the game to the extreme. But then again, I occasionally sacrifice myself in similar circumstances because others seem to enjoy a game.
The evening was not lost, however. Before and after Marchia Orientalis we played
Anyway, Essen 2015 is on the doorstep and still one more to go. Problem is, it’s a four player game and we didn't have four players on any occasion in the last months. A luxury! So if that’s the reason why I won’t fulfill Essen 2014, well…