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ESSEN 12 - Day 1, 2, 3 & 4: plays, impressions, and purchases for The Bunker
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Well I hit all the connections just right and made it in late Wednesday night. I'm staying at my usual favorite hotel again, the Movenpick at the Essen train station.

So what I'll do is list games I played, viewed played, read the rules for, purchased, and passed on along with a comment or two on it. If I actually purchase a game at Essen I'll also put it on this list And so it begins (and ends)... My 2012 Game Gains (or the Money Pit part 2), which is also a good place to go and see what games I may have already gotten this year of interest. I'll try to stick with them listed on the days I viewed or got them. I'll add some of my own photos of the games from Essen later.

Again, I only have limited luggage space and am trying to buy ones that will be harder to come by later.

THANKS FOR ALL THE THUMBS. I'VE NOW UPLOADED MOST OF MY PHOTOS TO EITHER THIS LIST OR THE RESPECTIVE GAME.

Just starting day 3. Off we go.

Just wrapping up day 3 and I'm beat. I think I've seen everything I want to see and have purchased the games I really wanted, minus a few that I mentioned either wont fit in my suitcase or I'll wait for a US release copy. I've really gotten as creative as I can in packing games into games and into my baggage. I don't think I can fit anything else in to what I have and will still need to carry one game that came in a tube. So with that said, I might even give the fair a miss Sunday. I've met some great people and played some great games. The crowds were bad today, but actually not as bad as I have seen in the past for a Saturday. I suspect that tomorrow will be the most crowded as that's when the final markdowns happen and lots of families go for that.

So maybe I'll sleep in late, get a good lunch, see some of the town, and get ready for the trip back. If you've read this far, thanks for supporting this geeklist. I hope you've had as much fun reading it as I have writing it. I know when I'm not at a fair or Convention, I'm always trying to read up on the latest buzz from it. To everyone going to BGGCon, you're going to have a great time with all the great new games that have come out.

Day 4: like I could stay away with my dauer Carte. My train for my flight leaves at 14:45 so what else am I going to do for 5 hours. Too bad I have no more room in my suitcases. I'll post a few last items encountered today.

Day 5+: Everything is back home safe and sound in the bunker. Had to do a bunch of box seam repair from damages caused by the airlines which is typical and expected when flying games back home in luggage. Added a final photo of my Essen loot haul.

Cheers and good gaming and may you always be happy in your game.

And one last shameless plug. If your wondering where all the games I got will end up, check out
The ULTIMATE game storage solution. Or, 20 steps to making a dream come true. .
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1. Board Game: Spellbound [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:2293]
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First stop to pick up my copy. Wow! Incredible production value. I would say this one's figures are over the top compared to their previous games. The game is good for a coop and the first of such for the Lamont Bros. They are also sold out so you'll be paying a pretty penny through an online store if you want it. I think Funagain will carry this. Oh, and I did get my copy signed.
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2. Board Game: The Great Zimbabwe [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:477]
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Then I went and sat down and played this one through. It didn't knock my socks off but it's a solid gamer's game and a solid 8+ in my book. It was a bit fiddly when calculating who got what for resource payments but otherwise it went rather smooth. Of all their games, I think this one is certainly the most interactive between players. Thanks Tim, Rob, and Ed for playing. At 75e it's a bit steep priced for what you get but I may get a copy tomorrow. I'm still mulling it over holding out for another 5e price drop maybe by
Sunday.

EDIT DAY 3: Stock was getting low so I broke down and bought this today. The components are not worth the price, but the game itself has already kept me up thinking about possibilities. That's a good thing. Signed by both the authors.


Thank you Jakub for this image. Me on the left getting an explanation why I need to pay 1 to the bank to move a resource.


This was our endgame position.
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3. Board Game: Keyflower [Average Rating:7.98 Overall Rank:22]
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Then I won't over and picked up my preorder copy of this and had Richard sign it. I've got most of the Key games and this is another one that was a limited production and will likely be gone by Sunday.
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4. Board Game: Suburbia [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:43]
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I sat down and played a full game of this. I really wanted to like it but it was just okay for me. Too much keeping track of what's affecting what and who has what that affects you or vice versa. Passed on purchasing this one.

EDIT: FWIW, the game sold out today so obviously lots of folks liked it. Must be the family friendly factor.
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5. Board Game: Mutant Meeples [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1794]
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Watched this played at the same stand. Very cute and reminiscent of Ricochet Robot but not my first choice of game type. Passed on purchase.
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6. Board Game: Ruhrschifffahrt 1769-1890 [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:1492]
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Read the rules last night and watched it played today. This is a solid gamers game that I'd give an 8+ to. Limited run of 500 so I bought a copy and it came with two additional expansion tiles. He actions really fit the theme well with this one and there seemed to be plenty of options for victory point acquisition. The components are very nice on this game. There was one complaint posted that the rules were incomprehensible. I found them to be fairly clear and understandable but just to be sure, I will try to get a game of it in this weekend.
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7. Board Game: War of the Ring: Lords of Middle-earth [Average Rating:8.55 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.55 Unranked]
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Stopped by and got a copy of this. Yeah I probable could have waited but its small and came with a Treebeard promo card and figure.
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8. Board Game: The Boss: 5-6 Player Expansion [Average Rating:7.27 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.27 Unranked]
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Another cheapie expansion I wanted to bring the game up to 6 players. This should make things really interesting.
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9. Board Game: Edo Promo #1: Special Authorization Cards [Average Rating:7.06 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.06 Unranked]
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Bought.
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10. Board Game: Edo Promo #2: Profit Tiles [Average Rating:7.15 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.15 Unranked]
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Bought
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11. Board Game: Edo Promo #3: Special Authorization Cards 2 [Average Rating:7.15 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.15 Unranked]
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Bought. At 4e each, why not. I suspect they'll eventually be available in the BGG store at some point.
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12. Board Game: Al Rashid [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:2325]
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Had the developer explain the rules to me in Italian, his native language which made it much easier for me to understand the game. I watched it played and will play this tomorrow. I will very likely buy a copy as I thought it was that good. Worker placement, trading, special abilities, and some conflict. Nothing ground breaking as far as mechanisms go but it all seemed to come together well.

EDIT: Sat down today and played it. Absolutely loved it and bought a copy. It's a progressive game where you want to get more of your family in play to get more actions on the following turns. They're worth points as are the nobles on cards you can buy. The turns go quick and there's little down time. I played with 3 which is different from the 4/5 player games I watched but still great fun. I wouldn't be surprised if they sell out by Sunday.
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13. Board Game: Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:17]
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Solid 7 worker placement game. I will get this later as RGG is carrying it. I can wait. The gear mechanism is nice and works well to track the game time. Nice wow factor.

EDIT DAY 3: Okay, I cracked and bought it. It will probably be sold out by the end of the day. I also spoke with the RGG and BGG folks about the production issue. It's very minor and cosmetic as the holes for some gears are about 1mm too small. It's a quick fix but it is a production issue that's being addressed for correction in the second print run. Is this going to delay release in the US? Possibly but nobody would commit to saying for how long. Maybe that's a ploy to sell mor of the first run here at Essen but that's just my cynical thinking. They're hoping it won't be delayed but just don't know. That's what pushed me to get a copy here. Here's a shot of their big display board.

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14. Board Game: Norenberc [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:1083]
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Had this preordered on the few limited copies they had remaining in print. They're gone now so what's in circulation is it. Expect prices on this one to jump up.
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15. Board Game: Norenberc: Bonus Townsmen Essen 2010 [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked]
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The preorder I got also came with these bonus tiles.
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16. Board Game: BasketBoss [Average Rating:6.43 Overall Rank:2236]
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The number of games on sale this year is astounding when I compare it to previous years. I may come back and edit this one just to show what all is being discounted, or I'll add a separate game listing them all with their prices. You really discover why place like CSI, Miniature Market, Cardhaus, etc. are really selling off the same games at a discount when you see them here practically being given away. Anyway, this one was 10e which was relatively cheap for this 3 year old Euro management game.
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17. Board Game: Blocks in the East [Average Rating:8.14 Overall Rank:2984]
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Preorder and picked up today. Emanuelle was explaining the rules when i got it. I read them last night and would have loved to stay and play a shorter scenario but time was tight on day one. Maybe on Saturday. Great laminated map and bits. A labor of love worth the price for war gamers with a fascination for the Eastern Front. Solid block game mechanics with an interesting resupply mechanism that places importance on the type of resources required to replenish spent units.

I'm impressed with the maps.

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18. Board Game: Iron Sky: The Board Game [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:4809]
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This was getting lots of play. Team war gaming with a whacky theme based on the movie. I had preorder this based on a prototype demoed last year. Some have compared this to Target Earth but I think this one is more streamlined and as such plays quicker.
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19. Board Game: King of Tokyo: Power Up! [Average Rating:7.74 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.74 Unranked]
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Absolutely purchased this along with a pack of the engraved dice. It came with the Garfield's Gift card where you can make your own card. And of course I picked the Pankakai button as my promo bonus.
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20. Board Game: Aladdin's Dragons [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:3654]
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When I got Keyflower this was a 5e special they pushed on me claiming is was the last of the ones in print and no more were to be printed. Sure, for 5e why not. Looks like an interesting game and I always liked the original board game anyway.
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21. Board Game: Power Grid: Oracle & Industrial Espionage [Average Rating:6.96 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.96 Unranked]
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Paid a donation and got this years PG promo cards.
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22. Board Game: The Cave [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:1304]
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Pass. Watched it and pursued the rules. It didn't grab me anything like their K2 game did. It's not bad but neither anything I found exciting.
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23. Board Game: I Am Vlad: Prince of Wallachia [Average Rating:5.04 Overall Rank:10474]
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Mixed feelings on this one. I'm going to go to the website later and do more research on this. I had the rules and game concept explained to me today and its certainly an epic quest style game but at a semi-tactical level. It seemed like it could become a personal conflict as one of the ways to win was last man standing. Not sure if that presents player elimination issues or not. Passed on it for now. The box is pretty big and would take up the space for at least 3 other games if I got it.
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24. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker: Another Big Expansion [Average Rating:8.13 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.13 Unranked]
Ubergeek
United States
Camas
Washington
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I spent 100 Geek Gold and all I got was this lousy overtext message!
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If you've got the base game and like it, you'll be wanting this as well. RGG to publish or carry it so I can wait for the US release on this one.
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25. Board Game: Trains [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:227] [Average Rating:7.37 Unranked]
Ubergeek
United States
Camas
Washington
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I spent 100 Geek Gold and all I got was this lousy overtext message!
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Sold out. I guess I was too slow. They didn't have hardly any copies and were selling the last 30 they had in Japan for 25e shipping plus 50e for the game. They're looking for a US publisher to pick up the game which might be worth it for someone.
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