Sunday, October 4, 2015

Obligatory 2015 Essen Spiel Post Part II: Top 5 Reprints/Re-implementations

Just a few days until Essen Spiel 2015!  This year has so many great games coming out.  There are way too many to even begin to believe that I’ll be able to play even one-tenth of the releases.  This will be the second post in my Essen Spiel series.  If you haven’t had a chance, please feel free to check out my first post in the series on my top 5 game expansions that are being released at this year’s convention.  Check out the link below and find out what I’m excited about in game expansions!

Are you back?  Great!  Now we’ll move on to my second post in the Essen Spiel series.  This one will focus on game reprints and re-implementations.  These are different games that are being released this year that have had previous printings and/or editions in the past and are now being re-released in another form.  Are you excited?  I know I am!  Now we move on to the list.

Honorable Mention – Snow Tails (Renegade Game Studios)

Snow Tails is a hand management, race game that is designed by Gordon and Fraser Lamont and will be released (in this printing) by Renegade Game Studios.  This game was originally released in 2008 by the Lamont Brothers by their game company, Fragor Games.  After them, Asmodee picked it up and did the most recent printing before this one is released.  This is an absolutely gorgeous looking game that creates its track with modular pieces.  It has an innovative card play mechanic where you put out two cards in order to control your dog sled in a race to the finish line.  This is just a cool looking game and I’m super happy that it’s getting a new printing so it will be available to so many people!

#5 – Celestia (BLAM!)

Celestia is a wagering and push-your-luck game that is designed by Aaron Weissblum and will be released at this year’s Essen by BLAM!  This is a revamping of the game Cloud 9 (released in 1999) by Aaron Weissblum where you were in a hot air balloon and tried to float as high in the sky as you were able.  Celestia takes these ideas and puts them into and absolutely beautiful package!  Now you are in an aircraft of sorts and trying to gather treasures at different stops.  When the craft stops at a city the captain rolls some dice and tries to defeat the obstacles.  You decide whether you will stay in the craft so you can move on or jump out and stay in the city below.  This is a gorgeous looking game and I look forward to its release.

#4 – Nyet! (Iello)

Nyet! is a hand management, trick taking game that is designed by Stefan Dorra and will be released at this year’s Essen by Iello.  This game was originally released in 1997 by Goldsieber Spiele.  This is a trick taking game that is actually played in two parts.  The first part is the “Nyet” phase where players put their tokens on a board in order to create the scoring and conditions for each trick.  After that phase you go on to a fairly classic style of trick taking card play.  I had never heard of this game till I saw the Iello version coming out and as with all of their releases it looks absolutely beautiful.  This will be an insta-buy as it is cheap, plays a good number of people, and looks like a ton of fun!

#3 – Neuroshima: Convoy (Portal Games)

Neuroshima: Convoy is a hand management, card game that is designed by Ignacy Trzewiczek and will be released at this year’s Essen by Portal Games.  It is a small box game that was originally released in 2012 by Iello and Portal Games and had a second printing in 2013 by Z-Man Games.  In this edition, Trzewiczek decided to start from the ground up and create the game he meant the original to be.  What it appears that he’s done is create (refashion) an awesome small box game with a fantastic theme in the Neuroshima universe.  I am looking forward to this and since it is a Portal release it is an insta-buy.

#2 – Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization (Czech Games Edition)

Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization is a hand management, card drafting, action point allowance, civilization game designed by Vlaada Chvatil and will be realeased at this year’s Essen by Czech Games Edition.  This game was originally released in 2006 by Czech Games Edition and has been as high as #2 on the BoardGameGeek rating system.  This game has been a loved game for many years but was known to have some problems with the balance in certain areas of the game.  This is a completely new edition that Vlaada built from the ground up to be more balanced.  Czech Game then took that game and put some much better graphic design and artwork with it to create an awesome looking edition!  This is a streamlined version of a beloved game and hopefully that means it will be even better and more beloved!  I can’t wait to try this one out as I think Vlaada is an amazing designer.

#1 – Stronghold: 2nd Edition (Portal Games/Stronghold Games)

Stronghold: 2nd Edition is an area control, action point allowance, and point to point game designed by Ignacy Trzewiczek and will be released at this year’s Essen by Portal Games and Stronghold Games.  The game was originally released by Portal Games and Iello.  This game was very interesting and incredibly bold in its design but had some definite flaws in both the rulebook and the gameplay.  This is another game that Ignacy took and decided that he could improve upon his design and make another Portal Games hit.  I love that he’s streamlined this game and added some absolutely awesome bits and pieces to more fully immerse the player in the theme.  I can’t wait to get my hands on this game and attempt to siege this stronghold!

Well, there you have it.  These are my top 5 (and 1 honorable mention) reprints that will make a showing at Essen Spiel 2015.  I can’t wait to get my hands on some of these games and finally get to try some of these gems out.  As always, any questions/comments/concerns feel free to leave a comment in the space provided below.  Until next time, game on!

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