$10.00
Origins Aftermath: What was your favorite new game of the show?
Chris Funk
United States
Springfield
Ohio
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I spent two nights and three days at Origins. I played a lot of cool prototypes, new releases, and old favorites. I had one clear favorite. What was yours?
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1. Board Game: FlowerFall [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:2643]
Chris Funk
United States
Springfield
Ohio
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Out of the whole show, one game stood out above the rest for me. You wouldn't think this simple game consisting of 54 cards and a rule sheet that fits on the front and back of a single piece of paper smaller than a postcard would be something great.

But sitting in the hotel at 11:00 at night and playing this with
Chaddyboy
United States
Olathe
Kansas
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Morgan Dontanville
United States
Charlottesville
Virginia
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Plate of Shrimp.
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Here we are folks, the dream we all dream of.
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, and
Ron Magin
United States
Phoenixville
Pennsylvania
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, I realized that it was something magical.

It's simple, it's fun, and it plays in under 10 minutes.

For those that don't know the game, you have 10 cards with green flowers on one side (points) and flowers of your color on the other with some white areas. It's an area control game where you hold a card a couple feet above the table and drop it onto the field in an attempt to connect as many of your flowers to the cards with the green point flowers. If more of your flowers are connected by the green background, you score the points and ties means no one gets anything.

The neat idea is that the backs of the cards are point flowers, so you can choose to put your flowers down or add more points to the board.

Unlike most dexterity games, a bad turn doesn't mean you can lose a round because of it. If your card misses, use the next to connect it to your field.

So, simple, easy, competitive, and most importantly, fun. And it was only $10. For me, game of the show. I'll definitely be bringing this along to GenCon in August, especially since it's the size of a pack of cards and I can even keep it in my pocket.
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2. Board Game: Takenoko [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:162]
Dan Edelen
United States
Mount Orab
Ohio
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It may not be a new game entirely, but it was new to Origins.

Good: Simply outstanding and beautiful production in what looks like a fun game.

Bad: I could not get anyone at Asmodee to actually play the game with us. Explain some of it, yes, but not play a couple turns. This was a problem I experienced repeatedly at many of the major game publisher booths. Not sure why actually playing a game at a con was so hard, but demoers did not seem to want to play the games and teach them, plus publishers did not have anyone in the board game room teaching games. A major letdown for me.

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3. Board Game: Mice and Mystics [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:102]
Dan Edelen
United States
Mount Orab
Ohio
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Was surprised to see this at the show since it only recently has gotten buzz here on BGG.

Another game where the demoer would talk about it, but playing it seemed to be a bother. While the game looks beautiful, another reviewer has compared it to D&D's board game of Castle Ravenloft, and given that WotC now has three games like that in their stable, not sure why Plaid Hat wants to dive into that market with a Me Too game. Let's hope that this one is less WotC and more it's own creature.
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4. Board Game: Pirate Dice: Voyage on the Rolling Seas [Average Rating:6.26 Overall Rank:2792]
Katie Schumm
United States
Brighton
Michigan
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A clear winner for us. We got a chance to play a few rounds of this and were hooked(we have now backed the kickstarter).

For those familiar with Clint's Roboderby: Express I like this even more. The theme is well joined to the mechanics and there is a great balance of chaos to control.

Dave(husband of wonderwitch)
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5. Board Game: Aeroplanes: Aviation Ascendant [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:1665]
J M Duran
United States
El Paso
Texas
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THIS is my favorite of the show, hands down.

I'm worried though because it was also shown last year at Origins. Whats the hold up?

1. Martin Wallace - check
2. Great theme - check
3. Great game play - check
4. Elements of Brass and Automobile - check,check
5. Potential for great components - check
6. Unique simple start player mechanic - at least I've never seen it before - check

Must Have!
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6. Board Game: Merchant of Venus [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:433]
Adam Brocker
United States
Gilbert
AZ
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Not a new game, but a new game to me and worth mentioning, since a reprint will shortly be available. Played a game of Merchant of Venus that was taught by Rogue Judges. The version I played was with the Dathkadan artwork.

It was lighter than I expected, but was still a very fun game.
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Second place would go to Trajan. An interesting title that was available in the CABS library. Only thing I really disliked was having to constantly update the time tracker.
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7. Board Game: Morels [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:414]
puɐnbɹɐW ʍǝɥʇʇɐW
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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My wife and I get a lot of mileage out of two-player card games and Morels was just perfect. More tense than Jaipur but just as quick. The artwork is fantastic, you're supporting a self-publisher, and the designer and his wife were fantastic at their booth.

I've played 8 times in a couple of days, I've yet to win, and we love this game.

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8. Board Game: Flash Point: Fire Rescue [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:168]
Mark Webb
United States
Verona
Pennsylvania
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Flash Point was on my "must check out list" going to Origins. After a couple plays in the Board Room, I knew it was for me, and bought it in the dealers hall. Then I played it even more. Wish I could have picked up the Urban Structures, though...
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9. Board Game: Abaddon [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:3531]
Eric Foldenauer
United States
Ypsilanti
Michigan
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I basically stumbled into a demo game of Abaddon in Exhibit hall D while on my way to nowhere in particular. A friend of mine had been very excited about this game, while I was just a little "meh," because it seemed like just another complicated minis game.

As the rules were being taught to me, and we started our play of a 2 vs 2 mission, it quickly became apparent that this could be an ideal game for me. It distills tactical mini-games to their essential components while still creating a satisfying battle and variation between the different figures. Best of all, it is a 30-90 minute game, which is what I want for a game like this.

There are only 4 sculpts, but 8 of each and massively sized. A necessary compromise to the shortened time frame is a higher degree of randomness, but not too much. Smart gameplay and positioning are still important.

We were midway into the game before I realized that Richard Borg himself was demoing the game to us. That was a real treat to see such a huge designer being so excited to show off his game, and allowing the merits of Abaddon to stand for themselves rather than promoting his name.

I left Origins with a signed copy.
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10. Board Game: Road to Enlightenment [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:5042]
Keith Leonard
United States
Massillon
Ohio
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While I did not actually get to play a game, I was able to speak to Dirk Knemeyer (the designer) and get a run down of game play. My group is kickstarting it and really looking forward to getting this one to the table.

I also talked to him about another one of his games, The New Science, that I am really interested in, but they did not have a demo set up.
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11. Board Game: Tournay [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:551]
Richard Shay
United States
Norwood
Massachusetts
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I was really looking forward to Tournay and Z-Man had it available. Sadly, they were teaching it incorrectly and making it play poorly. You have to read the rule book carefully to understand some of the more detailed card and event mechanics, but it captures much of the flavor of Troyes using different mechanics. I think it is easier to teach and learn as well.
The card interactions are interesting and I don't think I have even scratched the surface on possible strategies.
Does have the iconography detail issue that some folks hate, but once I got used to it the cards were easy to interpret. Caveat: I never had an issue with icons on Race for the Galaxy.
The artwork is just like Troyes, which is a plus for some and minus for others.
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12. Board Game: Upon a Salty Ocean [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:1892]
Richard Shay
United States
Norwood
Massachusetts
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This was on display in the Rio Grande demo room and my friends and I gave it a play. It is an interesting economic game. Maybe the simplest I have played that still has interesting decisions.
It did not seem to be getting a lot of love or interest, but it has many endearing qualities.
The mechanism for paying one coin more for each of the four kinds of moves than the last player to take it was very effective. Its just about cold hard cash, but we all liked it.
It may be limited by the blandness of the board, but it is very thematic. If I had one more slot in my luggage, I would have acquired it and I probably will order it the next time I put an order together.
It is definitely worth more exploration by anyone who likes market games.
Sadly, it will probably only spread based on word-of-mouth despite its many good qualities. I wish someone had pushed it a little more actively at Origins, but it was much easier to get into a game of Last Will or First Sparks in a venue like Origins.
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13. Board Game: Québec [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:701]
Adam Skinner
United States
Seven Hills
Ohio
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I played a fair number of games at Origins, but I'd say my favorite "new to me" game was Quebec. Even though we only played the family game, I really liked the cube economy, how you were cooperating and competing with others, and the tension between getting useful bonuses for playing cubes and getting those cubes in the correct majority areas.
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14. Board Game: Divinare [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:1095]
Rob Rennich
United States
Athens
Ohio
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Demoed it on Friday, and bought it on Saturday. I love how elegant and simple the rules are, but it still requires clever strategy and thinking multiple moves ahead. It's also fun to play mind games with other players. All with the added bonus of a quick play time for a filler with depth - or the type of game you play 3 or 4 times in a row.
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15. Board Game: Compounded [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:1004]
Chris Copac
United States
Hudson
OH
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I got the chance to play this gem of a game under the guidance of it's designer

Darrell Louder
United States
Dover
Delaware
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at Origins 2012. Even though it's a fair way off from being kickstarted, it felt tighter and more polished than a lot of currently published titles. Lots of fun interaction by trading elements needed to complete chemical compounds, player skill growth, one-time use items and permanent upgrade items allowing you to claim more compounds, draw more elements, place more elements, and store more elements, and volatile compounds and lab fires which could cause some chaos were some of my favorite aspects of the game.

That and the sweet score track based on the periodic table of elements

I'm not really doing it justice explaining it. If you have the opportunity to check it out at GenCon, I would highly recommend giving it a play. This beat out Sunrise City and King of Tokyo as my game of Origins 2012.
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16. Board Game: Kingdom Builder [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:331]
Vince G.
United States
Reynoldsburg
Ohio
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My "best of" games were all a bit older; really I didn't play any of the brand-new, cutting edge games.

I picked this game because it was fun, fast, and light enough that I can imagine it getting plays at home.

Runners-up were Belfort and Vinhos. Both really interesting games with lots of strategy, hard choices to make every turn, etc. And both games that would never get played at home, alas.
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17. Board Game: Take the Bait [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Eric Leath
United States
Newark
OH
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Another awesome proto from DiceHateMe Games, this worker placement game casts players as fishermen on the placid Lake Wannapullachit. At the beginning of each day (with the game split into 9 rounds; 3 sections of 3 days), the fishermen will wake up and attempt to drink the strongest coffee they can. Stronger coffee costs more money, but also gives you priority in the placement of your fishermeeples. And where can you place those fishermeeples once you have priority placement? Well, lots of places...

You'll definitely want to take residence in the bait shop. Each purchase there will give you 3 "cubes" of bait. Available bait includes crickets, hot dogs, and nightcrawlers (hope I remembered that correctly, my apologies to Cherilyn and Chris if not). At the end of each day, a rondel mechanic changes the prices for the available bait, so be mindful of picking up a bargain.

There's also some equipment, vehicles, and permits available (see the top of the board). Fishing equipment lets you increase the efficiency with which you do things (e.g. taking two fish instead of one when you cast your line, being able to hold multiple perch, etc.). You'll also need to buy a boat if you want to fish in deep waters, or a pier pass if you want to throw your line in middle of the lake. Hanging out in shallow waters doesn't cost anything, but it typically doesn't yield results as profitable as fishing in deeper waters. Finally, you'll also be able to go noodling--in pairs, it's dangerous to go alone--in the catfish hole, to the market (to sell fish, to make money, to spend on permits, bait, etc), and on a guide (a 4th fishermeeple who can be immediately placed.).

Fishing is done by declaring what type of bait you will be using. After placing the bait on your hook (i.e. giving it back to the collective pile), you reach into the area of the lake in which your meeple is places and allowed to fish and pull out two, face down tokens. If you successfully pull a fish that likes that type of bait, you may keep it (but only one, unless you have equipment that states otherwise). At the end of each day, a weather event will cause migration of the fish, so by the end of the game, you'll have to mindfully play the odds of where you think the biggest fish might be. When fishing, it's a definite possibility that you may pull some refuse, such as a bikini top or a tacklbox. While these are worth negative points at the end of the game, it's also possible to collect a full set (bikini top and bottom, box and key, etc) for VP at the end of the game. You'll also want to watch out for Ol' Bubba, the Lake's uncatchable catfish. If he ends up hooked, he'll rock your boat and take one of your precious fish wish him.

Overall, this was probably my favorite UnPub of Origins2012. Yes, the inherent luck involved with not knowing what fish are where is going to throw hardcore Euro-gamers into conniptions. I can understand, I generally loathe not having control over things in games, but this game does a fantastic job of translating the feel of fishing into a board game. There's a palpable tension when pulling "fish" from the lake, and an equal sense of achievement when you snag the correct one. Sure, I may be biased because I won the first game of this I played... but I'm equally looking forward to backing it on Kickstarter. It's a really fun game that I can use at game nights and employ as a gateway game with my Midwestern family members who grew up fishing on the various open waters around Ohio.
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18. Board Game Designer: R. Eric Reuss
Jared
United States
Berthoud
Colorado
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Was lucky enough to hang out with Eric - designer of Fealty - for a few evenings and had a chance to playtest the new co-op game he's working on. You play as spirits trying to protect an island from expansionistic colonists. Players have a hand of various abilities that will grow as the game progresses, including some very powerful (but expensive) effects like tsunamis.

It's still in the fairly early stages and it may be a long time before it gets published, but I'm definitely looking forward to it.


(Also - the Fealty expansion is coming along nicely and looking solid.)
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19. Board Game: Empires of the Void [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:1464]
Evan Gassman
United States
WASHINGTON
Dist of Columbia
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Preface -- this was my first Origins. I know this game is 100% "new," but after hearing so many good things I wanted to give it a shot. The demo was awesome, and I bought the game immediately. This game won the con for me.

Basically you're going from planet to planet trying to either conquer them or win them over with diplomacy so you can access their technology. Planets, as well as tech you can research, provide victory points. There are three scoring rounds. Whoever has the most victory points at the end of the last scoring round wins. It's fairly light, but very strategic. Two thumbs way up. thumbsupthumbsup

Final note, I've never played Nexus Ops or Eclipse and I've heard this game is similar. But I'm really with the game, and glad I was able to grab a copy to add to my collection.
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20. Board Game: VivaJava: The Coffee Game [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:1016]
brenton t vallade
United States
wyandotte
Michigan
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i played this as a scheduled event ran by the designer. easily my favorite game at the show. the game is semi co-op and forces alot of interaction between the players. an eight player game played quickly and was just a blast to play. most fun i had at the show.
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21. Board Game: Eminent Domain [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:296]
brenton t vallade
United States
wyandotte
Michigan
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i have to give this game a mention too. it was one of the games i wish i had kickstarted. i played this as a scheduled event and had a great time with it. it wasnt new to the show but new enough and new to me. picked up a copy while i was there. my wife likes it wich is a big plus.
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22. Board Game: The Manhattan Project [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:142]
Stephen Shaw
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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This was my favorite game of the show. I played with three friends, as the owner of Minion Games taught it and oversaw our race to nuclear weaponry.

The artwork is great and really thematic -- reminiscent of 40's/50's propaganda art. It's a standard worker-placement game, where it's really important to get additional workers early, and then use your engine to get resources (workers/scientists/engineers, yellow cake and $$) to convert to advanced resources (plutonium and uranium) which finally converts to points (bombs). Sounds boring, huh?

It differs in that there is a detente element in the ability to directly interfere with one another. You can use your (once per turn only) main board action to airstrike an opponent with your fighters and bombers. You bomb their developed buildings on their side boards (you can use the developments on your side boards as much as you have workers during your turn), such that they have to waste a turn(s) and $$ on the repair action to be able to use them again.

You can also use the espionage action, which allows you to use the buildings on your opponents' side boards, and your espionage gets more sophisticated the more you use it.

Finally, there is a balance to when you place workers, and when you spend a whole turn to call them back.

All-in-all, it's a very well developed euro, but with some terrific elements that allow you to interfere with the perceived leader, much more than, for example, Caylus.

I'm surprised that it hasn't made this list already!!
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23. Board Game: Tahiti [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:2608]
Ken Grazier
United States
South Euclid
Ohio
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Near northeast Ohio? Come to one of my game nights! www.geek-craft.com
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I got to try out Tahiti with the designer and it was a lot of fun. It's a clean game with great mechanics that make the game strategic enough to feel like you had an effect on the outcome but still with some luck involved.

You can see my review here: http://geek-craft.com/wordpress/?p=312
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24. Board Game: Pala [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:3578]
Josh Chernesky
United States
Dayton
OHIO (OH)
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I didn't try out too many new games, but I demoed this one and bought it immediately. It's a neat little trick taking game that uses color blending to change up hands (and which suit is trump) and has some unique scoring ideas as well. And, as with all games from CGF, it came at a good price.
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25. Board Game: Last Will [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:234]
Ben Pinchback
United States
Leonard
Michigan
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I really liked how well the theme is integrated into this unique new idea for a game. Thinking in reverse was very fun, trying to lose money on your houses, etc. You have these loser friends who hang around and cost you money, you throw parties to waste money, and it's all wrapped up in a good worker placement then action allocation system that wasn't hard to figure out. Oh, and I loved the tophat meeples.
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