Surya Van Lierde is pure Eurosnoot and proud of it!
Even though I've enjoyed previous big box games from What's your game? like Vinhos and Vasco Da Gama quite a bit (I own both) this game was no where near my radar. The kind of meh artwork (why the hell are the vikings on the cover wearing Spanish harnesses from a later age?) depicting a battle scene on the box cover didn't help that.
But this game isn't really a combat game. It's a resource management and VP buying game. It does have some nice intertwined mechanisms that work together nicely and there are multiple strategies to explore. I've played the game twice now, and I've won both games while still playing completely different strategies.
I kind of like it, I enjoy it, but I don't love it. But it's a solid design.
Initial rating: 7
Karnag is an other game that was no where near my radar. I didn't hear to many great things about last years Wiraqocha, so Sit Down wasn't a company I was checking to see what they where bringing this year.
While there is a theme of druids and monsters and stuff, this is mostly abstract. Your druids walk around the board and use laser technology to capture monsters and spawn menhirs into existence. While this doesn't sound all that exciting, Karnag is a good game that lasts a limited amount of rounds, plays quite fast - there is some possibility for AP though - and doesn't outstay it's welcome. There are multiple paths to victory - at least that's what I think, but I have no idea what those paths would be, I didn't do well.
The artwork is quite good and clear.
Initial rating: 7
This is yet another game that went completely below my radar. This year must have been the year I went to Essen the least prepared
This is a fairly straight forward card game of city building with some nice twists thrown in. The rules are quite simple and turns are quite fast. There was some confusion about a couple of special abilities of some cards, but other than that everything went fine.
I was bothered a bit by the fact that not all guild cards are equally powerful. Getting a coin at the start of each turn is WAY better than getting a discount of one coin when taking your cards back. But I guess that if everyone knows that in advance, the good guilds will cycle through faster, so the players holding them won't benefit from them very long.
There is a certain luck factor which can be quite influential, but it didn't bother me too much. The tie breaker rule for the end game was kind of stupid though. In clockwise order from the player who ended the game? Come on, how about most money left?
But I enjoyed playing this, even though I did horrible
Initial rating 6.7