Thursday, November 16, 2017

Obligatory “What I Played In…” Post Part XXVIII: October 2017

Woot!  Now that I’ve finished up with my Essen Spiel series I can move on to our gameplays from the month of October.  We’ve officially moved into our new house and finally finished unpacking which means that we have more time and a new/bigger space for gaming!  Even with the craziness of the move and packing we still were able to get in 55 plays for the month!  We were also able to get some games in for our 10x10 challenge thus getting us closer to completing it!  Okay, enough of that, let’s move on to the 10x10 stats which we’ll follow up with the month’s statistics and then the breakdown of the games we played.  Alright, enough of the preamble, let’s move on to the post!

10x10 Challenge:
Arkham Horror: The Card Game (0 plays in October, 6 total plays for 2017)
Cottage Garden (2 plays in October, 10 total plays for 2017)
Five Tribes (0 plays in October, 6 total plays for 2017)
Gloomhaven (1 play in October, 13 total plays for 2017)
Great Western Trail (1 play in October, 7 total plays for 2017)
Pathfinder Adventure Card Game (0 plays in October, 11 total plays for 2017)
Ticket to Ride (0 plays in October, 15 total plays for 2017)
Tokaido (3 plays in October, 8 total plays for 2017)
Too Many Bones (0 plays in October, 13 total plays for 2017)
Unfair (1 play in October, 9 total plays for 2017)

Yeah buddy!  We’re trucking along with our 10x10 plays and shouldn’t have any problems finishing up the challenge by the end of the year!  So let’s move on to the statistics and the breakdown of the different games we played this month.  I hope you enjoy!

Statistics:
Total plays in October 2017 – 55
Total unique games played in October 2017 – 31
New games played in October 2017 – 5
New games acquired in October 2017 – 1
New expansions acquired in October 2017 – 3
Most plays of a single game in October 2017 – 7



Designer – Matt Leacock
Publisher – Z-Man Games
Last play before October 2017 – 8/6/17
Total plays in October 2017 – 7

I got the opportunity to break this game out a bunch this past month.  I taught it to Josh on one occasion and to Zach and Steph on another occasion.  Everyone who I taught really enjoyed the game and are looking forward to trying it again.  Zach, Steph and I were able to win after five plays!



Designer – Adam Poots
Publisher – Kingdom Death
New to me
First play – 10/20/17
Total plays in October 2017 – 6

Josh got his copy of this game in October and we broke it out and took it for a spin after he got the first models built.  This game is huge, that I can say with no problems!  I didn’t go in for the Kickstarter but I am glad I’ve been able to play.  The game is actually quite fun.  The monster battles aren’t even my favorite part; that would be the settlement phase after the fights.  I enjoy the game and look forward to being able to play it again.



Designer – Hisashi Hayashi
Publisher – Tasty Minstrel Games
Last play before October 2017 – 8/25/17
Total plays in October 2017 – 5

We broke this game out a bunch of times this past month in an effort to win!  Em and I played the game twice and were able to win one of those games.  Then I taught the game to Zach and Steph and we were able to win after three separate plays.  This game is just a quick, fun co-operative game and I’d suggest it to anyone looking for a Hanabi-style game.



Designer – David Moffat
Publisher – David Moffat Enterprises
Last play before October 2017 - Unknown
Total plays in October 2017 – 3

Wow, this game was a flashback!  I had played this game over 20 years ago at a camp and we found a copy for super cheap about three years ago.  I don’t know that we ever played the copy we own but I brought it one day and taught it to Zach and Steph.  I forgot how much fun this simple and quick pig-rolling game could be.



Designer – Keith Baker
Publisher – Renegade Game Studios
New to me
First play – 10/23/17
Total plays in October 2017 – 3

We picked this game up in October due to the IP.  The Scott Pilgrim graphic novels are some of mine and Em’s favorite reads.  We gave our daughter the middle name of Knives after a character in the books.  This game is a fun and interesting deck builder as there are a couple of phases and the cards are all double sided.  Great art and a fun game!



Designer – Antoine Bauza
Publisher – Funforge
Last play before October 2017 – 8/11/17
Total plays in October 2017 – 3

We played this game a few times in October.  One of the plays we were able to do with our buddies Josh and Ruthie.  They had fun with the game.  We also played the game twice one night and split the wins.  This game still continues to be a favorite when we break it out and we’re almost done with the 10x10 plays of it!



Designer – Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher – Amigo Spiele
Last play before October 2017 – 6/16/17
Total plays in October 2017 – 2

I taught this game to Steph and Zach this past month and they really enjoyed it!  They are really getting the hang of the different games their learning and they really seemed to enjoy this one.  I still love Bohnanza and it will probably remain as one of my favorite “straight” card games!



Designer – Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher – Edition Spielwiese
Last play before October 2017 – 8/28/17
Total plays in October 2017 – 2

Em and I played this quick, fun tile-laying game a couple times one night in October and had a blast.  This isn’t my favorite tile-laying game but it is very quick and super chill.  Em and I like playing this one when we just want to make pretty gardens without much interaction.



Designer – Isaias Vallejo
Publisher – Daily Magic Games
Last play before October 2017 – 7/7/17
Total plays in October 2017 – 2

I pulled this one out a couple times this past month.  Em and I played it once at a breakfast date where I was just barely able to edge out the game.  Then I taught Steph and Zach the game and they picked it up quickly and enjoyed the play.  Steph was barely able to win in her first play!



Designer – Phil Walker-Harding
Publisher – Lookout Games/Mayfair Games
Last play before October 2017 – 6/26/17
Total plays in October 2017 – 1

Josh and I pulled this game out one gamenight where we finished some stuff early and had a little time.  I quickly taught him this game and he was able to beat me in the play.  He really enjoyed this one as I figured he would.



Designer – Robin Lees/Steve Mackenzie
Publisher – Z-Man Games
Last play before October 2017 – 10/6/17
Total plays in October 2017 – 1

Josh and I played this game during a gamenight this past month.  Josh has had a copy for a little while and I’ve had it since the beginning of the year and so I taught him how to play.  I love this game and how it adds some cool stuff to the Hanabi model.



Designer – Klaus-Jürgen Wrede
Publisher – Z-Man Games
Last play before October 2017 – 9/22/16
Total plays in October 2017 – 1

Em and I brought this game with us one morning when we took our daughter to the playground.  While she ran around and had fun we set up this game on a picnic table and had a blast.  This is still an outstanding tile-laying game and we always have fun with it.



Designer – Emerson Matsuuchi
Publisher – Plan B Games
Last play before October 2017 – 9/11/17
Total plays in October 2017 – 1

Em and I had a breakfast date and pulled out this fabulous game there.  I think that this is the perfect “cube-pusher” for us right now.  I love a good resource management and hand management game and this one combines the two perfectly!



Designer – Rikki Tahta
Publisher – Indie Boards & Cards
Last play before October 2017 – 6/13/16
Total plays in October 2017 – 1

Em and I decided to pull this game out when our buddies Josh and Ruthie were over for a game night and teach them.  We hadn’t played this game in quite some time but I still love how quick and simple the game is and how much fun the meta-game can be.



Designer – Richard Launius/Kevin Wilson
Publisher – Fantasy Flight Games
Last play before October 2017 – 10/8/16
Total plays in October 2017 – 1

I pulled this game out and taught it to Zach and Steph this past month and they had a blast!  This is just a fun dice-rolling game with the awesome (in my opinion) Cthulhu/Lovecraftian-horror theme.  This is always a fun game and I’m glad they enjoyed it!



Designer – Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher – Z-Man Games
Last play before October 2017 – 3/11/17
Total plays in October 2017 – 1

We wanted to play a good, meaty Euro-game one night so we decided to pull out this great worker-placement game.  Em and I felt a little rusty as we hadn’t played in a while but we ended up doing fairly well in our scores.  I did end up just edging out the win!



Designer – Alexey Konnov/Alexey Paltsev/Anatoliy Shklyarov
Publisher – Brain Games
Last play before October 2017 – 9/23/17
Total plays in October 2017 – 1

This is one of our go-to games when we have 5-10 minutes and so we played one round of it at a breakfast date.  This is such a simple game but it doesn’t outstay its welcome and thus makes it fun while we play it.



Designer – Isaac Childres
Publisher – Cephalofair Games
Last play before October 2017 – 9/21/17
Total plays in October 2017 – 1

We were able to get in one game of Gloomhaven this past month which isn’t enough!  We finished up a side quest that we’ve been working on for about 4-5 games and it was great!  I can’t wait to get this game back to the table.



Designer – Alexander Pfister
Publisher – Stronghold Games/eggertspiele
Last play before October 2017 – 6/30/17
Total plays in October 2017 – 1

Oh man do I ever love this game!  This is becoming one of my very favorite games as I just love all of the different mechanisms that he added into the game!  Em and I played it and she was able to beat me but just 5 points.  Looking forward to my next play!



Designer – Kalle Malmioja
Publisher – Renegade Game Studios/Lautapelit.fi
Last play before October 2017 – 7/3/17
Total plays in October 2017 – 1

Josh and I had some time after playing some longer stuff during a gamenight so I taught him this fun tile-laying and card-drafting game.  He ended up pulling out the win just barely and really enjoyed the play.  This is a game I need to get to the table more often.



Designer – Alexander Huemer
Publisher – Capstone Games
New to me
First play – 10/6/17
Total plays in October 2017 – 1

Josh picked this game up and Gen Con this year and wanted to try it out so I went over one night and we played.  This is a solid action selection game that relies on a time track that is much like a rondell.  The game is crunchy and quite fun.  I’d play again if asked.



Designer – Ryan Laukat
Publisher – Red Raven Games
Last play before October 2017 – 9/19/17
Total plays in October 2017 – 1

Em and I continued our plays of the character mode in this game and we tied in score but I won the tie-breaker.  This is such a fun game and we are really enjoying our playthroughs.  I think we’re going to start playing the story mode with some friends pretty soon and we’re looking forward to it.



Designer – Nathaniel Levan
Publisher – Greater Than Games/Dice Hate Me
Last play before October 2017 – 3/23/17
Total plays in October 2017 – 1

I pulled this game out and taught it to Zach and Steph and they really enjoyed it.  I love this worker placement game.  It is cool that you are able to buy buildings and create more action spaces which in turn can gain that player more money if others go there.  I really wanted to try this one with five players.



Designer – Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher – Lookout Games/Mayfair Games
Last play before October 2017 – 2/13/17
Total plays in October 2017 – 1

We took Baby Knives to the park early last month and while she played on the equipment we brought this game to play.  This is still one of my favorite two-player-only games and I was able to just pull out the win during this play.



Designer – Alexander Pfister
Publisher – Pegasus Spiele
Last play before October 2017 – 9/5/17
Total plays in October 2017 – 1

I pulled this game out one night and taught it to Zach and Steph.  As usual, they really enjoyed it!  This is just another game that cements the fact that Pfister is one of my favorite designers.  With this game he created a fantastic push-your-luck, set-collection game!



Designer – J. Arthur Ellis
Publisher – Plaid Hat Games
New to me
First play – 10/13/17
Total plays in October 2017 – 1

Josh pulled this game out one night and taught me.  This is a thematic prequel to Dead of Winter and is a co-operative game.  We played really well and were able to win on standard level.  This game was fun and I’d play again if asked.



Designer – Daryl Andrews/Adrian Adamescu
Publisher – Floodgate Games
New to me
First play – 10/13/17
Total plays in October 2017 – 1

We had a little time after we played Raxxon one night so Josh pulled this one out and taught me.  I absolutely adore dice-drafting and placement as a game mechanism so I knew I’d like this one.  This is a quick and simple-to-learn game that I would love to pick up at some point.



Designer – R. Eric Reuss
Publisher – Greater Than Games/Fabled Nexus
Last play before October 2017 – 9/17/17
Total plays in October 2017 – 1

This game is amazing!  Every time I play the game I love it even more.  This time Josh and I played and I pulled out the spirit I had wanted to try, Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares.  We were able to win the round and it was awesome!  We are getting to a point where we are consistently able to win on the low levels of difficulty so I think we’re gonna bump it up from now on!



Designer – Scott Almes
Publisher – Gamelyn Games
Last play before October 2017 – 8/20/17
Total plays in October 2017 – 1

Em and I are really starting to enjoy this game.  Our first play of the game was fun but we didn’t quite get the strategy on that one.  Now we are starting to understand the ways to play and really having a fun time.  I love this as a push-your-luck, adventure game.  Plus, it is beautiful which is a plus!



Designer – Joel Finch
Publisher – Good Games Publishing/CMON
Last play before October 2017 – 9/15/17
Total plays in October 2017 – 1

We picked this game up one night and taught it to Molly and Dustin.  This is a wonderful card-drafting and tableau-building game that simulates building a theme park.  I love the art and theme as well as the gameplay.  They both enjoyed the game and want to try it again.  Em pulled off the win by a measly five points!



Designer – Uwe Rosenberg
Publisher – Amigo Spiele
Last play before October 2017 – 8/18/17
Total plays in October 2017 – 1

Em and I played this game once in October and I pulled out a win.  I have been on a quite a streak in this great, quick dice-rolling game.  This will always be one of our best trades as we got rid of a game we never played and have gotten in over 40 plays of this one.

New game acquisitions in October 2017:

New expansion acquisitions in October 2017:

Well there you have it!  Another month of great games played in the books and another one currently going on!  We’ve already played some great games in November so I can’t wait to take a look and see how we’re doing in the 10x10 challenge then.  I’ll be starting my year end posts either at the end of December or beginning of January so keep an eye out for them.  Thanks so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed!  Until next time, game on!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Obligatory 2017 Essen Spiel Post Part VI: Top 5 Games Being Demoed But Not For Purchase

Well, even with all of the roadblocks and life-happenings getting in the way I’ve finally made it to the final post in my Essen Spiel series.  This particular post will take a look at the games that weren’t for sale but had some sort of demo available to try at the convention.  I will say that this year’s crop wasn’t nearly as interesting overall as last year’s but there were still some that piqued my interest.  These are the five games (plus one honorable mention) that were interesting enough to turn my head.  Before I go into these games feel free to check out my previous five posts in the series that take a look at my top anticipated expansions, reprints and original games.






Alright, now let’s go ahead and move on to the meat of the post.  These games don’t yet have a release for purchase but they were available to demo and try out at Essen Spiel.  These are my top 5 (plus 1 honorable mention) games that had a demo but you couldn’t buy.  Enjoy!

Honorable Mention – Lords of Hellas (Awaken Realms)


Lords of Hellas is a card-drafting, hand-management and area control game designed by Adam Kwapiński and published by Awaken Realms.  This game has players controlling an asymmetric hero who is able to do different actions in order to gain power and complete one of the varying paths to victory.  The game not only has variability in the asymmetric heroes but also in the fact that they are multiple paths to victory.  One hero may choose to slay monsters wandering the map while another hero chooses to control different areas on the board.  The heroes could also choose to build temples and monuments in order to help with their different actions.  This game has some amazing components and looks absolutely beautiful on the board and I’m hoping that the gameplay can hold up to the amazing pieces.



The Scarlet Pimpernel is a worker-placement game with variable player powers that is designed by Brian Kelley and published by Eagle-Gryphon Games.  This game puts players in the role of one of the followers of The Scarlet Pimpernel as he moves about France and attempts to save innocents from the Committee of Public Safety and their guillotine.  The players will draw a mission card which will have a number of supporters and resources on it and then the players will go in turn order to gather said resources and supporters and bring them to the areas to complete the missions.  This continues on for seven missions and the player with the most points win.  This game looks like a fun worker placement game with a super interesting theme and not a high level of difficulty to enter into it.  I’m interested to see this Kickstarter and how it progresses.



Cerebria: The Inside World is a hand-management, deck-building and area control game designed by Richard Amann and Viktor Peter.  This game has players joining either the side of Bliss or the side of Gloom as they try to gain a foothold in shaping the Identity.  Players will take turns doing different actions such as moving around to the different realms and invoking/quelling Emotions.  The game continues with the players attempting to gain more control with the side that they are representing.  The state of Cerebria will be in constant flux during the game and the players need to realize and work with/around this as they attempt to gain the controlling power of the Identity.  This game is another with beautiful artwork and components and a very interesting theme.  I am looking forward to trying this one out!



Founders of Gloomhaven is a city-building, hand-management and tile-placement game designed by Isaac Childres and published by Cephalofair Games.  This game is a prequel of sorts to Gloomhaven as it essentially tells the story of the founding of the city.  In the game the players will take control of a race as they help each other build up the city from scratch.  The game is interesting as you have to actually use the resources of other races or else you won’t be able to build anything.  I really like the idea of an element of co-operation which really lends itself to the theme of this particular game.  This is a heavier game where the players will be making routes to other player’s areas to “borrow” the resources to make other buildings.  I am looking forward to trying this game out.



Feudum is an economic, hand-management and area-control game designed by Mark K. Swanson and published by Odd Bird Games.  This game puts players into the role of a group who have been banished from their land and stripped of everything they had.  The group then journeys to another land where they will attempt to gain back their honor and reinvent their nation.  The players control several members who are traveling the land, tending to farms, taxing towns and taking outposts in an effort to gain power.  The players will also fight over feudums and increase their status in six different guilds.  This is a massive game and seems to have some many different things that I love in games.  This is probably a game that will eventually end up on my shelf when it is released.



Fallout is an adventure, exploration and hand-management game designed by Andrew Fischer and Nathan I. Hajek and published by Fantasy Flight Games.  This game has the players taking on the roles of characters from the video game by Bethesda Softworks and traversing through the wasteland.  Each player gains an objective that they need to complete that they obtain at the start to help guide them and then it is on!  The players will be exploring the hidden parts of the map, completing quests that they’ve obtained, build their character’s skills and fight the hideous creatures that live in the wasteland.  The game seems to really have a sense of exploration and adventure as the characters will reveal their stories through the different quests and missions they’ll be on.  This video game is easily in my top 5 games of all time and thus the IP was super interesting to me when I heard it was going to be released.  This game will be mine…oh yes…it will be mine!

Well ladies and gentlemen…we’ve finally reached the end of my Essen Spiel series for 2017.  Man has it ever been a ride with moving in between but I’m glad I finished it up.  Some of these games just look amazing and I love that we’re living in a time where there are some many great boardgames to try out.  Thanks so much for taking the time to read this post, I truly appreciate it!  Until next time, game on!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Obligatory 2017 Essen Spiel Post Part V: Top 10 List (Games 1-5)

Okay, it’s time to continue on with my seriously late (oh moving and interweb problems…how you suck!) posts and take a look at my top 5 game anticipations that came out at 2017 Essen SpielThese 5 games all look amazing and they will be on my shelves as soon as I’m able to get them.  Before I move on to the post feel free to take a look at the previous four posts in the series.





Man this year’s Essen Spiel seemed to be a really good one and I wish I could have been there!  There were so many interesting releases coming out and I think it actually topped last year (2016) in the amount of games that really looked interesting!  That being said, let’s move on to my top 5 anticipated releases that came out at this year’s Essen Spiel!



Riverboat is a card-drafting and tile-laying game designed by Michael Kiesling and published by Lookout Games and Mayfair Games.  This game puts players in the role of 19th century farm owners on the bank of a river.  They need to organize their workers in a way to make sure that they are able to harvest crops in time to put them on a boat to sell in New Orleans.  In order to accomplish this, the players will place their workers in the fields, organize their crops into same types, harvest the crops and then place them into riverboats and finally get victory points according to what they shipped.  This game popped up on my radar due to the publisher and also the designer.  Kiesling really seems to be on a roll lately and I’m excited about all of the releases that he has had this year.  He has an extremely impressive Euro-style design repertoire and everything I’ve played with his name is amazing elegant.  These are all the reasons that I’m excited and plan on buying this game when I am able to.



Nusfjord is a worker-placement and economic game designed by the great Uwe Rosenberg and published by Lookout Games and Mayfair Games.  This game puts players in the fishing village of Nusfjord, Norway at a time when the village was developing and building itself into what it would be.  The players are the owners of major fishing companies who are all vying to be the best one and satisfy the elders.  To do this these companies must manage their workers in order to cut down trees, develop the harbor, enlarge your fleet of fishing vessels and erect new buildings.  This has some classic Uwe tropes where you have workers that you place on a central action board in order to do what they want to do.  Once a worker is in a place no one else can go there.  The players also have their own boards where they’ll be clearing trees and building different structures during the game.  This game seems really interesting where the players can put shares of their companies up on the market to get some quick money but they may lose them to other players who decide to pick them up.  I unabashedly love Rosenberg games and can’t wait to get this one!



Dinosaur Island is a worker-placement, tile-laying and set-collection game designed by Jonathan Gilmour and Brian Lewis and published by Pandasauras Games.  This game has players building up a dinosaur park and attempting to have the most thrilling exhibits in said park.  To do this the players will have to collect different dinosaur DNA, research the different sequences of the DNA and then correctly combine them in order to bring these extinct creatures back to life.  After sequencing and brining back these dinosaurs the players will place them into parks that they’ve built.  The players can be safe and sequence herbivores that are large but relatively docile or they can create the large carnivores that want to eat your visitors!  The players have to make sure they have enough security to protect their visitors or else mayhem could ensue.  This game uses heavy doses of worker-placement and tile-laying during the rounds in order to complete the mechanisms of the game.  This game looks absolutely beautiful with a large retro-influence in the art.  I’m very excited for this game and can’t wait to try it out!



Charterstone is a worker-placement, city-building and Legacy-style game designed by Jamey Stegmaier and published by Stonemaier Games.  This game has players taking on the roles of a citizen in the Kingdom of Greengully who has been tasked by the king to go out and create a charter in the world.  These players will build up their charter over twelve games by opening up different boxes and cards and placing stickers on the board where it will change up the look and actions that the players can take.  The game primarily uses worker-placement as the players will be placing one of their two meeples on a board space and then takes the appropriate action.  This game has a cool idea where the players will place their meeples and will have to take an entire turn to get them back unless some other player kicks them off the space.  This is a great mechanism as it gives the players more decisions to make because they will want to go to places they think other players will kick them off of.  This game looks like a very fun Legacy-style Euro-game and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!



Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 is a co-operative, set-collection, Legacy-game designed by Matt Leacock and Rob Daviau and published by Z-Man Games.  This game is the second in the series by the talented designers.  Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 was an absolutely incredible experience as we had a group that played through the 12 months (we played 15 total games) and ended up with an overall win!  We had such an amazing time that the follow up was absolutely going to be my number one anticipated game when it was released.  I’m not going to go too far into this game as I don’t want to give any spoilers and to be honest I’ve tried to stay away from them myself.  I will say that I love the idea that this is somewhat like Pandemic turned on its head.  This game is on my Christmas list and I can’t wait to be able to try it out!

Well, there we have it!  These are my top 5 anticipated releases that came out at this year’s Essen Spiel and they all look great!  With my top 10 complete I think I’ll do one more post in the series that will take a look at my most anticipated games that weren’t available for sale at the convention.  Many of these were demos but couldn’t be purchased.  Thanks so much for reading and I hoped you enjoyed!  Until next time, game on!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Obligatory 2017 Essen Spiel Post Part IV: Top 10 List (Games 6-10)

Oh wow what a crazy couple of weeks.  I’m sorry that this post (and the subsequent ones in my Essen Spiel series) took so long but we’ve been crazy busy.  We just bought a new house and have spent the last couple of weeks moving along with having no internet at it due to Comcast issues!  Even though I’m later on this post than I wanted to be, I still wanted to get it posted.  Alright, with that out of the way, let’s move on to my top 10 anticipated games (that I haven’t played yet) that are coming out at this year’s Essen Spiel.  This post will focus on the bottom half of the list which will be games 6-10.  Before we move on to those games feel free to check out the previous three posts in my Essen Spiel 2017 series.




Okay, now that that’s done we can move on to the main post.  This will be games 6-10 of my highest anticipated games.  I am looking forward to getting at least a few of these games as the year moves further along.



Tybor der Baumeister is a multi-use card game designed by Alexander Pfister and Dennis Rappel and published by Ŏsterreichisches Spiele Museum (and probably eventually Lookout Games).  This game is set is the Longsdale world that has been previously seen in the game Oh My Goods! which is also by Pfister.  This game is another multi-use card game where each of the cards can be played as a different person (a worker, a builder or a citizen) which gives them different actions.  There isn’t a whole ton of information about the game yet so I don’t know a ton about it but on the reputation of the designer alone it hits my top 10!  I can’t wait to see how this game is as Pfister is one of my very favorite designers!

#9 – Favelas (WizKids)


Favelas is a tile-placement and area-control game designed by Chris Bryan and published by WizKids.  This game has players going about the beautification of Rio de Janeiro by using different tiles which they will place on other tiles building up the neighborhoods in order to score points.  The interesting part of the game is in a mechanism where the council will approve funding for certain colors which will either value or de-value them.  The fun of the game appears to be in this fluctuation which makes the colors and majorities more interesting that straight set-collection.  I am looking forward to this tile-laying game and hope it is as good and it appears.

#8 – Azul (Plan B Games)


Azul is a tile-laying, abstract strategy and pattern building game designed by Michael Kiesling and published by Plan B Games.  This game has players taking on the role of tile-laying artists who are tasked to create lavish walls in the palace of the Portuguese king, Manuel I.  The story goes that Manuel I was on a visit to the Alhambra palace in southern Spain where he saw the ceramic tiling (azulejos) designed by the Moors.  He then ordered that his own palace be decorated with the beautiful tiles.  In the game the players will be drafting different colored tiles and placing them on a board in a pattern-building/set-collection style in order to score the most points.  This game is absolutely beautiful and looks to be another winner from the young, upstart publisher, Plan B Games.



Alien Artifacts is a card-drafting, hand-management and multi-use card game designed by Marcin Senior Ropka and Viola Kijowska and published by Portal Games.  This game puts players in charge of an interplanetary faction whose goal it is to expand across the universe gaining new technology and discovering new artifacts.  This game is a card-drafting game that uses a resource engine where each player has three resource cards in hand and will have to determine how they use them.  This game also has one of my very favorite mechanisms where each card could be used in different ways and thus gives the player multiple decisions to make.  Em and I have a small card game by the designers called Taste of Poland and we really enjoy that one.  The cards also have two sides to them; one side has abilities and will build the player’s game engine while the other side has ways of scoring victory points.  I’ve heard good things about this game and my only hesitation is whether the game is too similar to other multi-use card games like Imperial Settlers or 51st State: Master Set.  Regardless, I’ll probably get this game as it is a good price and looks like a ton of fun!



Pie Town is a dice-placement and deduction game designed by Daniel Fremgen and published by Renegade Game Studios.  This game has the players take on the role of a bakery owner in the town as they manage their operation while attempting to keep their secret recipe a secret.  This game uses dice/worker-placement while keeping an element of hidden information.  Since the dice will roll onto different faces the players have to manage the continuously changing workforce to harvest fruit, bake and then sell their pies.  The cool part that I think sounds great is where the players are also trying to deduce the other’s recipes in order to gain knowledge of their secret recipe.  Renegade Game Studios is doing an amazing job and this game looks to be another that I’ll be really interested in!

Alright, there are games 6-10 in my top 10 anticipated releases from Essen Spiel 2017.  I’ll have my top 5 posted fairly soon (now that our move is finally finished and we have internet again!) so feel free to check out what my most anticipated releases of this year’s Spiel were!  Thanks so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed!  Until next time, game on!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Obligatory 2017 Essen Spiel Post Part III: Honorable Mentions

Now let’s move on to the third post in my Essen Spiel 2017 series.  In this post I will take a look at the games that just missed going onto my top anticipations of the convention.  I am going to take a look at my honorable mentions of the conventions.  These are all games that I haven’t tried yet but would really like to give a go at some point.  While they didn’t make my list they are still interesting enough to keep an eye on.  Before we move on feel free to check out my previous two posts to catch up on even more games that I’m anticipating from Essen Spiel.



Okay, now that we’ve caught up we can start trucking along with my top game anticipations of this year’s Spiel.  These are the games that just missed out of my top 10 list but I still think that they deserve a mention so here they are!  Enjoy your read!

The first game to make its way onto my honorable mentions list is Kitchen Rush.  This game is designed by Dávid Turczi and Vangelis Bagiartakis and published by Artipia Games.  It is a co-operative, worker-placement and real-time game where the players take on the role of a restaurant owner who inherited an old restaurant and must turn it into a successful business.  Players will work together against a timer in order to place orders, get food, cook the food and serve the customers in an efficient way.  The cool part of this game is where each of the workers is actually a sand timer which means that the players must wait until the timer is completely done before they can use them again.  This makes the game much more frantic and it looks like a ton of fun!  My wife and I have already helped to fund the Kickstarter and we should be receiving the game in the next month or two which is really exciting!


The next game to make it onto my honorable mentions list is Meeple Circus.  This game is designed by by Cédric Millet and published by Matagot.  It is a competitive dexterity game where each of the players takes on the role of circus performers attempting to put on the greatest show they can.  Players will draft cards which give them different meeples and other pieces which they will use to stack upon each other to score different patterns that are out on the table.  There are two rounds where the players do the stacking at the same time and then the third round they will put on their show while everyone else watches on with bated breath.  I think this looks like an amazingly fun game and would really like to add it to my collection when we just want a silly, fun time!


The third game to crack into my honorable mentions list is Merlin.  This game is designed by Stefan Feld and Michael Rieneck and published by Queen Games.  It is a dice-rolling game where each of the players will move their knights and Merlin around the board with the help of the dice they roll.  They will move their colored knights with the dice they roll but each player can use and move the Merlin pawn.  There is a ring with actions and this is the place where the players will move their pawn in order to use these spaces.  This is a pretty classic Feld game where there is a ton of points to get all over the board.  I think this looks like a super fun game and the theme really sets it over the top for me!


The next game to hit the list is Rescue Polar Bears: Data & Temperature.  This game is designed by Jog Kung and Huang Yi Ming and published by TWOPLUS Games.  It is a co-operative, action-point-allowance-system game where the players take control of a scientific organization that is working on gathering data about temperatures in the arctic to persuade their government to agree with the climate change and thusly change their ways with fuel consumption and energy policies.  While they are going about their mission the players also have to save the polar bears from sinking into the freezing waters.  I think this game looks like a great co-op game and has an awesome theme and components to really set it apart from others in the genre.


The final game (and thus the game that just missed the top 10 list) on my honorable mentions list is Indian Summer.  This game is designed by Uwe Rosenberg and published by Edition Spielwiese and Stronghold Games.  It is a tile-placement and pattern building game where the players will be laying down tiles on their boards that have little holes in them and cover up treasures.  The players want to completely cover up their boards and be the first to finish covering it with leaves.  This is actually the second game in Uwe’s puzzle series which started with Cottage Garden and continues with this game.  I think this just looks like another fun tile-laying game by Rosenberg and I’ll probably pick it up at some point in the near future.


Other honorable mentions of note:




Well, there you have it, post number three of my Essen Spiel series in the books!  The next two posts are my favorite of the series as they will be my top 10 games that are coming out at this year’s Essen Spiel and there are many in there that will make it onto my shelf fairly quickly!  Keep an eye out as the next post should be live in the next day or two.  As always, thanks so much for taking the time to read and I hope you enjoyed it!  Until next time, game on!