Sunday, October 23, 2016

Obligatory 2016 Essen Spiel Post Part V: Top 10 List (Games 1-5)

Yay!  We’ve made it to games 1-5 on my top 10 anticipated games of Essen Spiel 2016.  These are the games that I’m most interested in and many of them I plan on adding to my collection by the end of the year!  Before I move on to these awesome looking games, feel free to check out the previous four posts in my Essen Spiel series for 2016.

Wow, so many good games came out at the convention this year!  There is no way I’ll be able to get them all, but at least some of them I’m sure I’ll pick up in the near future.  Now let’s go ahead and move into my top 5 anticipated games at the Spiel.  Enjoy the read!

The Oracle of Delphi is a dice rolling, action selection, and pick-up-and-deliver game designed by Stefan Feld and published by Pegasus Spiele and Tasty Minstrel Games.  This game puts players in the role of a mortal who is chosen by Zeus to take part in a competition to gain access to the realm of the gods, Olympus.  In order to do this each player must complete 12 different tasks more quickly than the other chosen competitors.  These competitors may gain help from the mysterious oracle in order to beat the other players to the goals more quickly.  During the game each player will roll dice and then use those dice to do different actions during their turn.  They can go around the board to different islands to fight monsters, build temples, and collect offerings.  Whoever is able to do these tasks most quickly and get back to Zeus first is the winner.  This is mostly a pick-up-and-deliver game with dice action selection which is a bit of a turn from Feld’s usual “point-salad” offerings.  I think it looks great and is actually very thematic which is also somewhat unusual for one of his games.  I will wait until Tasty Minstrel Games picks this up and releases it in the United States and will most likely pick it up then as it is right up our alley in terms of theme!

Yokohama is an economic, route-building, set collection, and card drafting game designed by Hisashi Hayashi and published by OKAZU Brand and Tasty Minstrel Games.  This game has each person in the role of a merchant during the Meiji period in Japan.  Yokohama was a fishing village that is now in the transition period of becoming a major harbor point for trade with other countries and these merchants are trying to gain fame with their wheeling-and-dealing in the market.  Player will use their president to take an action and can leave other meeples/cubes along the board which make actions more expensive for other players.  The game wants players to make the most efficient moves along the board to score points and use their resources in the best way possible.  I am in love with the idea of this game!  To be honest I’ve already backed the Tasty Minstrel Games deluxe edition and should get it sometime early next year.  I’m totally pumped to play this game as I think it will go over really well with my wife and other people I play games with around here!

Railroad Revolution is a train game that uses some pool-building and route building and is designed by Marco Canetta and Stefania Niccolini and published by What’s Your Game?  This game puts players in the shoes of a railroad company manager who is competing with other companies to gain the most lucrative piece of the industry during the 19th century.  You will be building railroads, establishing rail stations in cities, expand communication lines, and chase personal goals all while trying to beat your competitors at their own game.  Each play will start with a pool of workers who are non-specialized but will take actions during the game to promote them to different managerial positions but then can’t use them for the general actions.  It seems to have a pretty low learning curve by high decisions and strategy and I do so love those types of games!  They are much easier to teach!  Between the theme, What’s Your Game?’s pedigree, and the apparently deep decisions this game may very well find its way to my shelf soon.

Great Western Trail is a worker-placement, tile-laying, and deck building game designed by the fantastic Alexander Pfister and published by eggertspiele and Stronghold Games.  This game puts you in the role of a 19th century cattle rancher who is repeatedly herding his/her cattle to Kansas City from Texas.  During the game you will be building your hand of cards which are the cattle you will be selling when you arrive in Kansas City.  You want to have the best cattle that you are able in order to get the most money possible.  Along the way you’ll be building different structures/buildings which will give you bonuses.  You are also able to hire different staff in order to improve your herd (cowboys), build your own buildings (craftsmen), or improve the railroad line (engineers) while you advance throughout the game.  In a shocking (sarcasm anyone?) turn of events, the player with the most victory points at the end wins.  Let’s face it, at this point Pfister is on such a roll that any game he designs will be on my radar and probably pretty high up the list.  Great Western Trail is no exception as it looks to join his many fabulous designs (Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King, Mombasa, Broom Service, Port Royal, Oh My Goods!) and is poised to do really well.

A Feast for Odin is a worker-placement, pattern building, economic game designed by the incomparable Uwe Rosenberg and published by Z-Man Games.  This game puts players in the role of the leader of a Viking village.  They are working to create the most successful village by hunting, gathering materials, refining said materials, buying ships, and raiding settlements.  This is all done by a worker placement/action selection mechanism where you have to pay a certain amount of workers depending on the action chosen.  This game uses a similar mechanism to his wonderful two-player game, Patchwork, where you put polyominoes on your player boards to cover up negative point spaces and get more income.  I adore Uwe’s work and think that this is going to be an amazing game.  I have enjoyed every game I’ve played by him so far, from his lighter fillers (i.e. Wurfel Bohnanza) to his heavier farm simulations (i.e. Fields of Arle) so this game moves its way to number one on my list and will be in my collection ASAP!

The top 10 games are complete!  These games all look like they are going to be great plays so I can’t wait to try them out and possibly add them to my collection.  Much of this list I already made the decision to buy and have pre-ordered a few of them with the hope of getting them soon.  Come back soon as I’ll have up my final Essen Spiel post where I take a look at my top 5 anticipated demos of the fair.  Let me know what you’re looking forward to!  Until next time, game on!

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