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The Buzzlist - Special Essen Edition 2009
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As promised, this is a special version of the Buzzlist focused on games that are released this week at Essen!

As usual, games are ranked by the number of BGG wishlists they appear on. I've included every game that appears on at least 100 wishlists. I've tried to exclude games that have already been released, or games that will not make Essen, but as usual, this is an inexact science. Unlike the standard Buzzlist, these games may not yet have U.S. distributors, and in fact may never be available in the U.S.

I'm using BoardGameNews for my master list of Essen games, but all of the information listed here is from BGG or publisher websites. If you're interested in looking further into these games, I'd highly recommend becoming a member of BGN and getting their great Essen coverage.

If you're interested in my bi-monthly Buzzlist or would like to receive notifications for future Buzzlists, check out the subscription thread at http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/415697.
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26. Board Game: Arcana [Average Rating:6.23 Overall Rank:1854]
Doug Faust
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206 Wishlists

Arcana
Design: Damien Desnous
Publishers: Alderac Entertainment Group, Dust Games
Specs: 2-4 players, 60 minutes, Age 10+

"Arcana, an exciting new card game set in the mythical city of Cadwallon, pits you against up to three opponents as you vie for the most power for your Guild.

Will the Guild of Blades control the city? The Guild of Thieves? Its up to you as you fight for the best agents to exert your influence.

As the game is played, various stacks of “Stake” cards are revealed. Using the cards in your hand from your Main Deck, you will play agents to the various Stake cards, and you will use other cards to augment your agents. The player whose agent wins the Stake will claim it, placing it in his Resource Deck. Any card from your main deck that has been played also goes to the resource deck. When the main deck runs out, you reshuffle your resource deck into a new main deck. The more powerful the Stake card you win, the better it will make your deck as the game progresses. However, should you win a stake for a card that does not directly help your strategies, you can put the card under your Guild card, and still score at the end though not have to reshuffle that card into your deck, maintaining focus. Every card has a point value and at the end of the game the total point value of all the cards in your possession determines the winner.

Each Stake is determined by various factors, such as military power, political power, money, etc. Each Guild has different abilities, such as the Guild of Blades always winning ties on Stakes determined by military power.

Along with the Stakes, each player is given a number of Objective cards at the beginning of the game. Completing these objectives, such as 'Control three Automaton Stakes' will earn the player additional points.

By customizing your deck as you play and with four different Guilds to choose from, the replay value of Arcana is nearly limitless.

Arcana is brilliantly illustrated and is a fast fun way to get both your card game and fantasy fix. Produced under license of Rackham. Releases October 2009. For two to four players." (AEG's website)
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27. Board Game: Power Grid: Brazil/Spain & Portugal [Average Rating:7.90 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.90 Unranked]
Doug Faust
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196 Wishlists

Power Grid - Brazil/Spain & Portugal
Design: Friedemann Friese (Power Grid, Fearsome Floors)
Publishers: 2F-Spiele, Rio Grande Games
Specs: 2-6 players, 120 minutes, Age 12+

"Brazil: In Brazil, power providers prefer biogas for the production of electricity. Thus, players should consider the garbage power plants as biogas-fired power plants and the garbage resources as biogas tanks when playing with the Brazil maps. The fight for scarce resources is intense and will keep the players focused during the game!

Spain & Portugal: In Spain & Portugal, the interests of power production develop in two completely opposite directions: Uranium will be much more important than in other games, however not at the beginning. The resource market will not get any new uranium at all during Step 1, but the supplies of uranium increase rapidly in Step 2. On the other hand, and at the same time, three large wind-power plants come onto the market. This clash of interests is intended!" (2F's website)
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28. Board Game: 7 [Average Rating:5.23 Overall Rank:10325]
Doug Faust
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190 Wishlists

7
Design: Marcin Podsiadło
Publishers: Wolf Fang P.H.
Specs: 2-7 players, 120 minutes, Age 15+

"Lord Erc of Barbador watched the darkening, almost purple clouds in the horizon with unrest. A week has passed since they started to cover the usually azure north sky and the peaks of nearby mountains. They did not come close to Lord Erc's city, who felt absolutely safe in his great stronghold of massive walls and soaring towers. The words of the stranger have shed some light now, on what the knight considered a remarkable, but not dangerous, weather phenomenon. It has been said that the darkening sky is a sign that the Unnamed, the ancient evil which has been defeated by the First King and put to a grave closed by magical seals, came back.

'The power of the Unnamed is subtle, my lord' the stranger continued. 'Do not expect that an evil army of monsters will arrive from the mountains, with him as their leader. He has different methods - penetrating our hearts and warping the virtues given to us by gods. Before you know it, your people shall bring upon themselves endless disasters.'

'Do not be afraid, sage.' Lord Erc turned from the window, feeling his brave heart beat with usual certainty. "We are protected by the strength of courage, gifted to us by the gods, a power that will not be matched by any tricks of ancient demons. My country always stood on the guard of goodness and order. The Unnamed has no grip on us, and will not have it, ever. He is not a worthy opponent to us." The knight finished his speech with a triumphant smile, but the sage saddened. He let down his sight - now he was sure that though Erc does not know it, his sincere courage has begun to change into foolish pride. The Unnamed has begun his work." (Wolf Fang's website)
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29. Board Game: Small World: Cursed! [Average Rating:7.57 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.57 Unranked]
Doug Faust
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185 Wishlists

Small World - Cursed!
Design: Paolo Mori (UR, Borneo), Philippe Keyaerts (Small World, Vinci)
Publishers: Days of Wonder, Edge Entertainment
Specs: 2-5 players, 80 minutes, Age 8+

"Hit a man while he's down - Goblins conquer In Decline regions at one less cost...

Kobolds aren't necessarily cowards... They just like to work in teams. It takes 2 Kobolds to occupy a region after you've conquered it...

Your people are now Cursed! Skip over this Special Power and you'll have to pay 3 coins, not the 1 that is usual...

The only thing better than conquering is Ransacking. Take 1 coin away from an opponent for every territory you conquer...

The Hordes are at the door. Add the 2 Hordes of tokens to increase the size of your active Race...

The moon is full and the Were-people are howling. At night (even-numbered turns) the Were- power lets you conquer all regions with 2 less tokens than normal...

It's time for Double-Jeopardy! After an initial attack, Marauding forces get a second chance each turn to conquer even more territory..." (Days of Wonder's website)
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30. Board Game: World Without End [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:310]
Doug Faust
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185 Wishlists

World Without End
Design: Michael Rieneck (Pillars of the Earth, Cuba), Stefan Stadler (Pillars of the Earth, Cuba)
Publishers: Kosmos, Mayfair Games
Specs: 2-4 players, 90 minutes, Age 12+

"World Without End is based on Ken Follett's best-selling novel. Journey to Knightsbridge, England, where 200 years ago Prior Phillip oversaw the building of the cathedral renowned as "The Pillars of the Earth." Now farmers, wool dealers, and builders seek wealth and prestige amidst a rivalry between the priory and merchants. As the plague reaches town, nothing remains as it once was. Strive to navigate turbulent events, ensuring and balancing your food supply, income, and prestige. Piety and loyalty remain vital, for you must cater to the upper classes. And precious medical knowledge is your greatest weapon against the Black Death. So, gather your power and spirit and rise above your rivals into legend!" (Mayfair's website)
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31. Board Game: Small World: Grand Dames of Small World [Average Rating:7.49 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.49 Unranked]
Doug Faust
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184 Wishlists

Grand Dames of Small World
Design: Jason Oman, Philippe Keyaerts (Small World, Vinci)
Publishers: Days of Wonder, Edge Entertainment
Specs: 2-5 players, 80 minutes, Age 8+

"When Priestesses go In Decline, they concentrate their forces by re-grouping in their Ivory Tower for defense, but still earn a full-measure of Victory coins...

Gypsies are always on the lookout for more riches. They can even earn Victory coins for regions they abandon...

Stronger in death than in life, the White Ladies become immune to conquests and Special Powers when In Decline. You better take care of them, before it is too late...

The Historian chronicles the rise and fall of civilizations - and gets a bonus Victory coin whenever a race goes In Decline...

Make love, not war! Even in Small World, sometimes the peacemaker comes out ahead - Peace-loving races collect 3 bonus coins for any turn they refuse to attack another active race..." (Days of Wonder's website)
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32. Board Game: Greed Incorporated [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:1097]
Doug Faust
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183 Wishlists

Greed, Incorporated
Design: Jeroen Doumen (Roads & Boats, Indonesia), Joris Wiersinga (Roads & Boats, Indonesia)
Publishers: Splotter Spellen
Specs: 3-5 players, 180 minutes, Age 14+

"'Twenty million, twenty-one million, twenty-two million... hey! Where’s the rest of my bonus?' The CEO’s voice does not match his elegant, tailor-made suit. 'But sir...' the accountant protests, 'you have bankrupted this company. Your employees have lost their pensions. Surely you can...'. 'Stop whining', the CEO interrupts him. 'Clearly you don’t understand business at all. How am I supposed to pay for adequate transportation if I do not get my bonus? Make sure you transfer the money, today!'. He slams the door of his white limousine and drives off, heading for a new challenge.

Greed, incorporated is a game of corporate malversations and greedy executives. You run one or more companies and make their accounting books look as good as possible using every trick that good old honest businessmen ever invented. And some more. Just make sure to leave the company, cashing your exit bonus, before the company crashes and the credit crunch commences." (BGG)
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33. Board Game: God's Playground [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:805]
Doug Faust
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Malverne
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179 Wishlists

God's Playground
Design: Martin Wallace (Brass, Age of Steam)
Publishers: Phalanx Games Polska, Warfrog (including Treefrog)
Specs: 3 players

"God's Playground is the next of the three player only games. The game covers the period of Polish history from the 1400s to the mid 1700s, i.e. from the war against the Teutonic Knights to the period leading up to the first of the three partitions.

Each player takes on the role of one of the major noble families. The game is played over four turns and in each turn there will be a number of enemy powers to deal with. Players secretly decide how many minor nobles they wish to place in each of the five areas within Poland, plus how many will be used to influence the king. The number of nobles placed in each area will determine who is voted to the government, (the Sejm), from there. Nobles also allow a number of other actions to be carried out in that area, such as the claiming of land, building of armies, and launching of campaigns. There is also the possibility to arrange peace treaties, directly attack other players', (known as confederation), invoke the Liberum Veto, and build Jesuit Schools.

Poland's enemies wax and wane in strength as they did in history. In the first turn the major threats are presented by the Teutonic Knights and the Tatars. Later in the game Russia becomes more of a problem, while the Swedes replace the Teutonic Knights, and are in turn surplanted by the Prussians. The Ottoman Empire also has to be dealt with, and there is the possibility that Poland will have to ride to the rescue of Vienna.

Player's have to balance co operation in dealing with these external forces with the selfish acquisition of victory points.

Playing time is around 2 to 3 hours. The name of the game has been 'stolen' from the excellent book on Polish history by Norman Davies." (Warfrog's website)
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34. Board Game: A Brief History of the World [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:1107]
Doug Faust
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Malverne
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A Brief History of the World
Design: Gary Dicken (History of the World, Monastery), Phil Kendall (Fire & Axe, Canal Mania), Steve Kendall (History of the World, Fire & Axe)
Publishers: Ragnar Brothers, Spiral Galaxy Games
Specs: 3-6 players, 180 minutes, Age 10+

"A Brief History of the World is played over six epochs. During an epoch each player will lead an empire. This empire will establish itself, expand into other lands and make an impact on world civilisation. A player collects gold for controlling capitals, cities and monuments and lands. The winner is the player with the most gold at the end of the final epoch." (Rulebook from Ragnar Bros.)
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35. Board Game: Steam Barons [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Doug Faust
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Steam Barons
Design: Martin Wallace (Brass, Age of Steam)
Publishers: Mayfair Games, Warfrog (including Treefrog)
Specs: 2-6 players, 120 minutes, Age 13+

"Steam Barons is the first expansion for Mayfair's Steam.

Two maps are included in the game, one covering eastern USA, along with parts of Canada, and the other covering northern England. You can check out the USA map here, and the England map here.

The maps are suitable for five and six players if you use the base or standard rules from Steam.

An additional set of rules are included which allow you to play the game in a different manner. The Steam Barons rules introduce a stock-market system to the game. Now you can buy and sell shares in the railway companies. The biggest advantage of these rules is that the maps become playable by between two and six players.

The game also includes 144 wooden train pieces which must be used with the Steam Barons version but can also be used with the base and standard games. An additional 38 tiles have also been included to avoid shortages with the larger maps." (Warfrog's website)
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36. Board Game: Shipyard [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:326]
Doug Faust
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160 Wishlists

Shipyard
Design: Vladimír Suchý (League of Six)
Publishers: Czech Games Edition, Heidelberger Spieleverlag, Rio Grande Games
Specs: 2-4 players, 60 minutes, Age 11+

"The year is 1870. For centuries, sails have ruled the seas, but now the steam engine is beginning to dominate. Shipbuilders are experimenting with new designs, competing for the prestigious Blue Riband, which honors the fastest ship to cross the Atlantic. Their efforts are watched closely by the world’s imperial powers; for the strength of every empire depends on its commercial and military fleet. It is an exciting time to run a shipyard.

Found a company. Build a fleet. Show the world that your ships are the fastest, the safest, and the best.

You take the role of a shipyard owner. Your goal is to build the best ships within the allotted time. As your completed ships leave the yard, they are evaluated on many criteria and your company’s stock rises. You decide whether to build fast merchant ships, trans-ocean steamers, or small sailing yachts, while keeping in mind the bonuses you can receive from your secret government contracts." (Rulebook from CGE)
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37. Board Game: Krysis [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:4704]
Doug Faust
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156 Wishlists

Krysis
Design: Zoltán Aczél (Maskenball Venezia, Porca Miseria), Zoltán Ágó
Publishers: Gém Klub Kft., Heidelberger Spieleverlag, Rio Grande Games
Specs: 2-4 players, 40 minutes, Age 10+

"Once there was a time of luxury and extravagance. People got immensely decadent and only showed interest in war on weekdays and virtual adventures in fantasy worlds on the weekends. The gargantuan Multis became the new rulers of the world leading and manipulating the consumer society. The border between the real and the fantasy worlds started to diminish.

The economy was clearly on the wrong track and created a civilisation on shaky grounds, a world full of chaos and panic - the old values were all gone. After all the resources had been exhausted, magic was mortgaged and technical developments were forgotten. The people of the real and the fantasy worlds struggled to survive in caves. A new generation appeared, whose members inherited all the bad features of their ancestors.

Now there’s a new fashion gaining ground: everyone collects relics from the past. People are crazy about ancient weapons, vehicles and of course, the crystals. These are the only things of value left. Nothing is more comforting than the glory of the old world. The newly found companies are competing to lay their greedy hands on these valuables.

Test your skills in the world of Krysis. You are running a company with a squad of agents. You will try to build up teams with greater initiative, combat value and loading capacity than your competitors who will be vying for crystals and relics. The prevailing maxim of these tumultuous times is emerging: ‘Take everything you can!’" (Krysis website)
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38. Board Game: Rush n' Crush [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:1982]
Doug Faust
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Rush n' Crush
Design: Charly Cazals, Frédéric Henry (The Adventurers, Red Hot Silly Dragon), Guillaume Blossier (The Adventurers, Red Hot Silly Dragon)
Publishers: Alderac Entertainment Group, Rackham
Specs: 3-6 players, 60 minutes, Age 12+

"When you weld guns and armor onto a race car, you need some real psychos to drive them. But we did it. Why?

Because chaos is fun!

A race where anything goes and with room for only one on the podium. Break-neck speed and road-rage are not only encouraged, they are required! The only ways to finish Rush N’ Crush are as the winner, or as one of many losers. The first driver across the finish line wins, the rest clearly haven’t got what it takes to be on the Rush N’ Crush track. Though before its over some may definitely be left on the track." (AEG's website)
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39. Board Game: Letter of Marque [Average Rating:4.98 Overall Rank:10934]
Doug Faust
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Malverne
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141 Wishlists

Letter of Marque
Design: Bruno Faidutti (Citadels, Warrior Knights)
Publishers: Edge Entertainment, Fantasy Flight Games, Heidelberger Spieleverlag
Specs: 3-6 players, 20 minutes, Age 8+

"Letter of Marque is a swift-moving game of treasure, temptation, and trickery on the high seas. Players sail their gold-laden galleons across the ocean while sending out raiders and avoiding the cannon fire of fellow privateers. With only two defended ships and five piles of treasure, each player must bluff their way to port to bank their hard-earned riches, while also venturing to make off with as much of their enemy’s gold as possible." (Fantasy Flight's website)
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40. Board Game: Arena: Roma II [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:679] [Average Rating:7.03 Unranked]
Doug Faust
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134 Wishlists

Arena
Design: Stefan Feld (Notre Dame, In the Year of the Dragon)
Publishers: Queen
Specs: 2 players, 30 minutes, Age 8+

"The revolt in Rome will not end for a long time to come! Join the action and find out who is the most powerful ruler by skillfully playing your cards.

No matter if you strengthen your own position with strong cards like Arena or Ballista or if you augment your victory points with Templarius and Triremis - you will be the winner if you use your characters and buildings with wits.

You may also combine 'Roma II - Arena' with 'Roma' and discover even more options." (Queen's website)
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41. Board Game: Mali Powstańcy: Warszawa 1944 [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:2503]
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Mali Powstańcy: Warszawa 1944
Design: Filip Miłuński
Publishers: Egmont Polska
Specs: 2-4 players, 30 minutes, Age 8+

"Little Insurgents is an attempt to portray the scout military post operating during the Warsaw Uprising in the form of a board game. Putting their lives at stake, young scouts delivered mail and orders to insurgent squads, helping in the fight against the occupant. In Little Insurgents, each player takes on the role of a scout team leader. Your goal is to deliver the highest number of orders. Scouts from different teams compete against one another to be the first to deliver orders to their destination. However, they sometimes need to co-operate. If an order is not delivered on time, squads of the insurgents may lose particular locations or even entire districts. If too many districts are taken by enemy troops, all players lose the game.

The goal of the game is to earn the highest number of points. You get points mainly by carrying orders, given by commanders of the insurgent squads, between locations. Additional points may be earned at the end of the game, if scouts return safely to their starting locations. In the extended version, additional points will be earned by those players who successfully complete secret goals assigned at the start of the game." (Rulebook from designer)
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42. Board Game: Ystari Box [Average Rating:6.98 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.98 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.98 Unranked]
 
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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134 Wishlists

Ystari Box
Design: William Attia (Caylus), Cyril Demaegd (Amyitis, Ys), Dominique Ehrhard (Serenissima, Condotierre), Sébastien Pauchon (Yspahan, Metropolys), Thomas Cauet (Nefertiti)
Publishers: Rio Grande Games, Ystari Games
Specs: 2-5 players

"This is a box full of expansions for 6 games we have done in cooperation with Ystari Games: Mykerinos, Amyitis, Caylus Magna Carta, Metropolys, Sylla and Yspahan

Nile: this is a small expansion for Mykerinos. It was previously available in limited release.

Caveant Consules: Sylla will feature 2 new characters, 2 new events and one new great work: the forum, which provides a res publica token of each color to the player with the most votes and a token choice for the second player. When you give the votes to the Plebeians, you get 2 points for each set of 3 votes.

Royal favor: Caylus Magna Carta will now support up to 5 players and will add a few new buildings (including prestige buildings) which can grant some royal favors. A small board will allow you those favors and gain some resources, victory points or permanent powers. For instance, you may sacrifice a worker for a whole round in exchange for a denier or a resource.

Nebuchadnezzar’s palace: Amyitis will be embellished with a palace and a new craft to get in: the courtier. Depending on your investment in the palace, you may become the first player, do the procession, recruit any character, or get a courtier." (Rio Grande's website)
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43. Board Game: Jambo Expansion 2 [Average Rating:7.62 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.62 Unranked]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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129 Wishlists

Jambo - 2nd expansion
Design: Rüdiger Dorn (Goa, Genoa)
Publishers: 12spiel, Quined White Goblin Games (QWG), Rio Grande Games
Specs: 2 players

"The 2nd expansion contains 3 separate modules, which can be combined in many ways with the basic game and the first expansions.

I - NEW WARES and ENCOUNTERS

II - THE FOURTH HUT

III - THE CARPET" (Rio Grande's website)
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44. Board Game: Neuroshima Hex! Duel [Average Rating:7.74 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.74 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.74 Unranked]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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Neuroshima Hex! - Duel
Design: Michał Oracz (Neuroshima Hex, Witchcraft)
Publishers: Portal
Specs: 2 players, 30 minutes, Age 8+

"Duel is the second expansion to Neuroshima HEX! The box has the same format as the first expansion. It includes two new armies: Smart and Vegas, and a new board as well.

Both armies are well known to all fans of Neuroshima Role Playing Games. Smart is a part of the Moloch army which mutinied and decided to fight against humans as well as against machines. These is an extremely deadly force. Every ally adjacent to Smart’s HQ has the ability to move. It makes this army very flexible and dangerous.

On the other hand there is Vegas, army of men whose weapon is bribery. They can bribe any enemy unit that is adjacent to Vegas’s HQ to make it attack another unit. If your units attack Vegas HQ, you can not be sure when they will stop attacking Vegas and turn to attack you!

In the box there is a new board as well, with new skills on it, special spaces and new rules. It lets players discard tiles or exhaust their Headquater to gain Power points which can be then exchanged into special actions provided by Terminal spaces on the board." (Portal's website)
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45. Board Game: Martinique [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:1986]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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116 Wishlists

Martinique
Design: Emanuele Ornella (Hermagor, Oltre Mare)
Publishers: Huch & Friends, Quined White Goblin Games (QWG)
Specs: 2 players, 30 minutes, Age 10+

"You are the captain of a pirate ship bound for Martinique. With your four most loyal pirates you break up in the morning to find the lost treasure. Will you solve the mystery of his whereabouts, and even a legend?" (H&F website, via Google Translate)
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46. Board Game: Pony Express [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1892]
Doug Faust
United States
Malverne
New York
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101 Wishlists

Pony Express
Design: Antoine Bauza (Ghost Stories, Pocket Rockets), Bruno Faidutti (Citadels, Warrior Knights)
Publishers: Funforge
Specs: 3-5 players, 45 minutes, Age 8+

"Pony Express is a race game between riders from the Pony Express aiming to deliver their letters first, starting from St Joseph to Sacramento.

Pony Express uses a simple poker dice system combined with bluff and bluff calling to resolve the moves of the players all the along their way on the board. Combined with the fact that dice are also used as bullets to shoot the other players pawns during duels or other gunfights, you get an idea of the unique ambiance around the table during a Pony Express game session!" (Funforge's website)
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