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Well, it's no Ginkgopolis...
Essen Week 2016!!!
The best week of the year? Perhaps debatable, depending on your tastes and gaming preferences. To be fair I call every convention that I attend the best one during the week it is happening. I am just so happy to be able to attend so many wonderful cons- it is a real gift!
Since I knew I would be unable to play my weekly Fields of Arle game, I made Ron play with me on Monday night. We had packing etc. to do so we skipped out on Monday night games.
So in Arle, I did so well the night before scoring 133. This game Ron and I were both failing pretty hard. I was less focused and trying to work the fields. It was going pretty well since I managed to pick up 2 "before November" tiles before the first November to make it work. I was happy with that. I got the 9 point carriage so that of course helped me out.
The 15 point buildings were not the ones I wanted to get but Ron left me with the which that worked best for me. The biggest error I made was taking the peat action in the second to final round. I ended up selling my peat boat and not being able to push the food to the top. I screwed my self over and it was too late for me to go back and recalculate. Turned around and Ron ended up winning 118 to my 117.5 so I had 4 unused peat- other things would have been better- ANYTHING. I sold the peat boat so I could get the plow since Ron stole all of the available plows. It was boo for me. I will just consider it a win since it was clearly meant for me to win. Clearly.
Before I left on Tuesday I wanted to snap a shot of the wonderful Fall colors. It is just too pretty this time of year!
The flight over seas was long and sleepy. I didn't get much to any sleep on the plane and boy was the jet lag terrible. I snapped an early morning shot from the plane.
As soon as we landed Ron and I got the rental car and headed over to Messe! Oh man was it super under construction. All people were all places and so much needed to get done. I was honestly shocked at how many booths were no where near set up! It was so awesome to go early and I found my friends at TMG and then I went over and visited with Smoox (and baby Smoox) from TBD! Check out some of my pre Essen photos! Me and the designer Eros LinMe and my rainbow!
Essen day 1
Bright and early day 1 of Essen, Ron and I along with Mina in the car get to the west entrance @ 8am. With new friends I pull out Rolling Japan to play and teach them. I think we had a full game of 6 people playing- it was crazy! We were all so excited to be at there and wanted nothing more than to storm the doors in front of us. But, we had hours to kill so why not a dice game. It took a minute to explain and of course I was correcting any mistakes I found. I have no idea who won that game but I am pretty sure it was either me or Ron since everyone was learning. It is so fun and exciting to be at the front of the line.
The second fast game we played was Qwixx gemixxt. This game was easier to explain since a few of them had played qwixx before. At this point Christian and his wifey Lara showed up and I was happy to have them join in on this game. Last year I met Christian at the front of the line and we had a great time. We have been great friends since and connecting via BGG. This game was very fast since the hall started filling up and people were getting antsy. I really have no idea who won that game but I think everyone had a good time. How could we not!?
While waiting at the door, just a few friends showed up...
First thing I ran for was Feast for Odin from Feuerland since they had about 100 English copies. Success! Immediately following Ron and I sat down to play Inis. New to me!
This was a game I hadn't gotten to play at GenCon but saw it. It was getting pretty good reviews and I definitely wanted to try it before buying it. It is a drafting area control game. You use about all of these cards you are drafting each round and there are several rounds. This is my first complaint. I do not foresee a lot of replay value here. I feel it will get boring with the same cards each game. There is a red deck of cards used for battles that don't see a lot of play, this is where there is variation. We probably saw 10/ 40 in the game.
Since we were playing 3 player it was the same old problem any 3p game has. Ron and the other guy was fighting and I went off and did a different objective. Our instructor was not well versed in the rules and didn't speak English very well so it was slow going. Game play is quick with some interesting choices but not one I will have to play again, but would if requested.
I ended up winning this game since I collected the sanctuaries and met the end condition. Ron was close to also winning by other means so I suppose it could be a close game between players. I think the art on the game pieces are quite exquisite and really appreciate it.
Christian found us again and we went over to CGE and found a game of Adrenaline. New to me!
This is a cool first person shooter board game. Definitely really simple to play and can be a lot of fun. I know it was one of Ron's top picks for the con.
In this game you are running around trying to gather hit points on other players. As players start dying because of too many hits then points are rewarded for most hits. Next time that player dies the points are less making them less valuable for target. You always come back alive and with less points to be acquired. It is interesting. Several cases where area control for most is awarded with higher points. But there is always points for less control as well. You move around the board and find weapons and gain resources.
I see possible strategies and combos that can and will happen and it makes me more exited to play again. I was working on getting a ton of marks on the targets with the weapons I was collecting. Ron was hitting many people at the same time and had a weapon that allowed for moving and shooting. Once you use the weapon in a turn you can't use it again but with resources you will be able to recharge it for the next turn.
It is a nice game and I know a bunch of gamers will very much enjoy this one. It was a close score at the end of our game all within 10 points or so. Ron is a jerk so I am pretty sure he won with about 50 I think I was at 42. We were playing a 4p game and the board is modular with 4 different set ups. Pretty cool. I ended up not buying it, but I would definitely want to play it again when Scott paints his copy... I actually don't know if Scott will own it but yah, he should .
After Adrenaline, we made our way to the Lorenzo booth to pick up that game. While there, I got to demo the small game called Microworld. New to me!
It is a small 2p abstract game. You are trying to win majorities in a given region, but the placement of the previous piece dictates the spaces you can play next. Very simple game. They tried to sell it to me with Lorenzo and it didn’t work out so well. I didn’t mind this game, however. I think it is more of a family game for kids and just a quick 2p filler. Seeing that I have a lot of those types of games, I didn’t feel the need to pick it up.
I got to play this game with the demo lady and we played on the huge magnetic board which was pretty cool. Turns out I am a natural, seeing as I won. I also don’t think she was really trying very hard. Sadly, there is not much more I want to talk about since it is a game I will likely forget it. I wouldn’t mind play again but it is isn’t high on the list to try again ever.
After that we went over to Pegasus and got in a 3p game of Chariot Race. New to me!
This was on my list to demo seeing it is a race game. But, it is also a dice game which I was interested in. It plays up to 6 player and is a race game. I didn’t anticipate it would be all that great with 3p anyway. For me this game really reminded me of Snow Tails with just left turns. You have the dice you roll based on how fast you are going. You get to re roll one time any number of the dice. There is some control but yes, it is dice. You are moving around from lane to lane and trying to take the corners slower as to not deal lots of damage.
In our game I was getting some great rolls and not getting too much damage dealt. I was fortunate and won the game by finishing the 3rd lap of the race. Ron was too ambitious and blew his chariot up and it was left to me and Christian. I was very far in the lead by this point since I was able to maintain my health. It wasn’t a real competition. I am curious as to how it will play with more players. I think it will be much better. For me, this was fun but not enough to own. I will get another chance to play though next month. We got to play on the special table made for the game. When I looked over and saw the ‘real’ game, I was a bit disappointed. But it has a nice price point so I think it would be a find race/dice game for any collection looking for that. Very good for a family game.
Christian left us for the day and Ron and I went off and there was a space to play Codinca, so we did! New to me!
This is an abstract game with nice tiles. Each player is trying to complete 4 hidden patterns with their tiles. You get 2 actions per turn to swap 2 tiles or to flip a tile. A free action to use the one time bonus action card you are given is also possible. One side of the tile is gold the other is white. Some pattern have a mix of these colors and you are trying to match them exactly. First player to complete all 4 objectives first wins. We just played as a 2p game but it can play up to 4p. I think it would be too chaotic with 4, since there is going to be so much changing, but I think 3p would be very interesting.
This game I had it made. I was working hard to complete the objectives and I wasn’t making it obvious at all. My bonus actions were nearly perfect for me as well. I was at 3 complete and Ron was just at 2. Finally, I was able to get my last one and it was great. There was a slight coloration in the tiles otherwise I would have bought the game. Perhaps in the reprint (if there is one) I will pick it up. I definitely had a great time playing it and it is one I would like to play it again if I come across it. Codinca is a really cool and easy abstract game. Cool box too! Another good family game where kids would enjoy this one. I would have liked it a lot growing up.
Ron and I were getting pretty tired so we were heading out but I saw Million Club. New to me!
There was no teacher around but we sat anyway. Someone came around and we found 3 others to join in for a fast demo before the halls closed. This game is a betting and vicious stock game designed for entry gamers. It is quite an easy game to try and get money and gain stocks for points. There is a worker placement aspect to this game which is the bidding. The sooner you place in a spot the better opportunities for getting what you need for your set collections and majorities.
He game lasts 9 rounds, each round one of the location spaces is flipped over and won't be used. Since I didn't get the full game I am not sure how it all plays out. In the first round I was pretty lucky with the cards I was drawing. I had an attack card that gained me money and made everyone else lose 3 money. It was a huge advantage since the tiles always resolve in order and it left several players with out money for the next actions to buy cards. Regardless, I won't he first round, therefore I won the game since we only played one round.
I would really like to play the full game but I wonder if it will be too long. I ended up not buying the game but am very interested in playing it some other time. Seems very cool but might be too swinging with luck of the draw.
I went back to the hotel and punched the epic game that is Odin! I found only 10 (!!!!) score sheets!!! Do they not think I will play it every week for the next 3 years? what the heck!?
Later at the hotel Ron cracked the seal to La Granja: No Siesta! New to me!
We were both very interested in this game since we really like La Granja. This is a dice game and incorporates the big game well. There is dice with the symbols you know and love. Each turn the active player rolls 5 dice and chooses one. The other player then chooses one. The active player rolls the remaining dice and does the same thing happens. There will be one left over die for every player to use. With discs you are marking the dice you are taking. If you don't have discs then you can't take it. Then whatever discs you want to use you can mark off in your score sheet. There are a lot of different paths to take for scoring, but the game ends when someone completes the siesta track. If you take the siesta die then you advance on the track. Each space on the track is a point and on this track you might advance and gain an extra disc. Seems powerful and likely always a first choice when rolled. I wonder if that is slightly over powered. It might mean for a very long game if they are simply never rolled.
You can choose not to use the discs allocated and they will remain for the next round. I was wrong, you can not keep discs from round to round only if they are crate discs. Sorry about that! There are reasons to keep discs around like completing shipments on the boat since you need 3 of a kind. There are a lot of fine decisions and considerations in this game. There is a lot of game in a little dice box. Nightly recommended for dice games and super happy to have it now.
In out game Ron was able to complete 2 donkey routes and get a number of helpers along the way. He finished off the siesta track and totally won the game. I was working a lot of different things like completing the roof tiles. I still did very well but not enough to beat the Ron. Great game!!
Essen day 2
Day 2 at Essen, what a rush! We thought we had time in the morning. No we sat in rush hour traffic and missed out on parking, never again! We will forever be early! Ron was very kind and dropped me off at the gate. I walked I after the rush and found a game with 3 others for playing Kingdomino. New to me!
This is a new blue orange published game that I was very interested in trying out. It is a small tile placement game. Each turn 4 tiles are laid out numerically low to high. The person the turn before who went on the lowest tile gets to go first and so on and so forth until there are no more tiles. Each player is building a 5x5 city. If you castle remains in the center than you get some bonus points.
I the game you are collecting points from number of crowns in a region (forest, plains etc) multiplied by the number of squares in the region. That's it! Very simple game and I very much enjoyed it!
In my game I just was going for a larger plain region, my problem is I didn't find enough crowns for it to pay off. I didn't win that time with an unfortunate couple of final draws. For a very fast tile game I really liked it. I will definitely have to pick it up when it is more readily available in the US. Very cool.
Ron caught up to me and we went over to play Eternity. New to me!
Grateful to be taught the game from the designer himself. This is a game that I was attracted to from the bgg preview list. The art work it just gorgeous and it is a trick taking game that was an gain my interest. We just played the 3 of us which is not optimal but works well enough. You just put out the 4 th hand that give everyone knowledge of available cards.
Each player will play the game as you normally play trick taker. There is a pledge that you can make instead of playing. This pledge will get you some tree tokens and you want one of these for each trick you take for perfect equilibrium. If you take too many trees then you gain zero points for the round no matter. The card you pledge goes to the center stacks. The color with the most cards pledges is the trump. This means the trump is changing through out the game play and round. It is bizarre and awesome. If you like trick taking I do recommend trying this one out.
In out game the designer totally won. Only cause I needed a round to figure it out then I learned quickly I managed to get a bunch of points in the 2nd and 3rd rounds before it ended. First round I misjudged trump changing so much so I ended up pledging too much gaining 0 points. Really cool game and happy I snapped a pic with one of the designers. Love it!
Since it was there and I have previously seen an image about it I really wanted to try out Bubblee Pop. New to me!
If you have played bubble pop then you know this game. I used to play this computer game as a kid. This is a modified version into a board game for 2p. On your turn you pull from the bag a token for any empty space. Then you have the opportunity to switch 2 adjacent bubbles in the center. Then you can take two adjacent tiles into your personal grid. If you form 3 of kind or more in a row/block then they pop and you get a bonus action depending on the color that you popped.
The game ends when there are more bubbles to pull from the bag. Most popped bubbles win! In out game I managed to get rid of the black bubbles and get a lot of bonuses that helped me more better. I managed to out score Ron by 1 point this game! Nice! Really cute game. Easy for mom or the kids. Definitely entry level and for one who likes candy crush. I liked it a lot and would definitely play again.
At noon, Ron and I promised Smoox we would go over to TBD booth and play in the Coffee Roaster Tourney. Ron had never played it but knew the rules. I told Christian to meet us there and he was about to join in on the tourney. The tourney just lasted 1 round and we each were playing the same location and had the same end goals to meet. It was only 3 of us in the tourney since the other signups didn't show up. Christian got explained the rules from the demoer and Ron and I just started out.
Turned out I only needed a few rounds before I was ready to pull from the bag for the final attempt. Ron also finished at the same time as me. We didn't go into the second stack of clouded smoke. I let Ron pull first and he managed to score 11 points. It was his first time trying and all but he was expecting better. I pulled next and managed to get 15 points! Even the staff was impressed with my score. I guess it pays a lot to play the game a few times and get a feeling for it. 15 points was enough to win the tourney and even advance into the final level at the expert mode, had I been playing the full game.
Christian was just learning but played really well. He ended the game with a score of 13!! He was super close. I am glad he decided to join in since he was hesitant about it. He is not a solo gamer but I assured him it would be harmless and he would probably like it. He did in fact like it! He found the fun choices and enjoyed the time. I won the tourney so I won this cool Coffee Roaster Apron! It is awesome and I am so happy to be an advocate of this game. Smoox and TBD is just awesome and I appreciate them so much! Great fun and good times.
After playing in the tourney the 3 of us wandered around and I ran into MOZI Games. My other favorite Taiwanese game company who made Cha Dango. Lucky for me friend Frank was there and he was excited to see me!
I had to try out his new game called Sweet Nose! New to me!
This game has a weird title but I was told the legend behind it. It is a long story that involves gods and an excellent sense of smell, with shrimp antenna and ended with him getting hit with lightening and turning to dust which ended up being ants. I really don't know but if that interests you then you should look up the history about. It is very interesting and bizarre.
The game is a betting game. You are betting on the items you think you will have in possession at the end of the round. If you will think you collect the most greens you would bid 1 for them. The least you will collect you should bid 5. You don't know until the end of the round but you are bidding on yourself. You want to collect the least amount of points possible. The game play is moving the goods from you plate to others bowls. On your turn you take one from you plate and place it in another players bowl. Then you take one from their plate and out it in your bowl. He round ends when one players plate is empty.
It is interesting because you still evaluate all remaining goods on your plate too. At the end of the round you add up the points. If you took in some number of points you might be able to take a bonus action token that will be in effect for the next round. If you scored the most then you get the first dibs. Least points at the end of the game wins!
In my game with the denier and the others I really mucked up the first round and scored like 30 points. Whoops. I learned from my mistakes I the next few rounds. Ron scored super well the first round and then became the person to point fingers at. You don't know what others have bid but you can guess. You are more interested in worrying about yourself though.
I ended up winning this game but just by a hair. It was awesome!! I had a great time playing and I bought it and had Frank sign it for me. It was great and I just love supporting them.
Since I was there Frank basically challenged me to play against the demoer for a game of KO Heroes. The problem here was I was on the spot and totally forgot what was what for that game. I am sooooo much better at Cha dango! And he was live streaming it somewhere?! Pressure was on!!!
Hahah it was so much fun but I lost horribly! It was hilarious and so much pressure. I think it is so much harder that cha Dango. I then challenged him to Cha Dango but there were people waiting. I checked back at the booth again a few time throughout he con but it was always very busy. It just means I have to play ok heroes more! I gotta get better and better just like cha Dango. Great game. I love the Nintendo theme too. I wish I had a pic of us in action but I forgot to ask Ron to take one. Boo. Awesome game awesome people.
Frank sent me the live stream, I thought I would share, but I have to say I haven't watched it yet and it makes me nervous! I know I lose though.
I sort of had a problem with my Lorenzo printing and needed to go back to the booth to try and get a new copy. I ended up getting one and the next one I got was much better. While we were there we managed to get in a game of Lorenzo il Magnifico! New to me!
Christian was still with us and was happy to learn this as we were. The teacher did a pretty good job of explaining. Unfortunately half way through the game Ron looked up a rule and we were doing something completely wrong impacting the other players a great deal. It was a learning game is what we call it. ? Game for scoring. Didn't impact my opinion and the game was still enough for me to get a good feel of the game and flow.
In this game the start player roll 3 dice. Each player has a pawn with those dice represented and a zero die pawn. You will be using your pawns on your turn and placing them on the board for actions. You have workers to help adjust the die value if you need to since some spaces are higher value. If you go to a tower space you have to pay the resources on the card in order to acquire it. If another player has played in that tower color already you must also pay $3. There are other spaces to activate certain cards and general spaces to get basic resources.
It is definitely and engine building game as well as a nice worker placement tableau building game. A lot of interesting things happening in this one. What we were doing wrong because we were taught wrong is she. You activate a building type. If you activate it at a 4 level then you get to do all level 4s and below. We were taught that you can only activate the sum of buildings to level 4. Big difference for production buildings for sure.
I don't really want to talk about our game so much since it would have been very difference with this rule. I ended up not going for production so much but for the other building types and the church. I won by a fair margin because of this, but I don't really count it as a win.
In the end very interesting game and I am happy to have it. I very much look forward to my next play! I know Ron was very much enjoying this game and I know so many others will too.
Christian ducked out after that and left Ron and myself to explore. We found a game on my list to demo called Chromosome. New to me!
This is a weird concept. That is what got me interested in it. I am no biologist but I was curious! You area. Gene trying to take over the factory with out getting radioactive and dying off. Other genes are trying to displace you as well. I am not really into theme and that is about all I've got for you. Managing your active genes you are utilizing actions on your player board that will effect the board and or other players. There is a D4 involved so it can be a bit luck dependent.
I ended up dying off and losing. The attacker was next to me and I was the target since I was spreading the radioactive cubes everywhere. I don't blame him in the least. By the end of the game it left me feeling meh. I wasn't as excited by it anymore. It was a fine game but just didn't do anything for me. It is one I don't really care to play again. It is more area control than I like in a game. Unclear about the asymmetry in the game I don't know if I like that or not. I can see many people enjoying this one, just not for me.
Ron disappeared to move the car closer. I wandered around and found another game I was interested in called Meteln. New to me!
It is really the dice that interested me in this game. The designer taught it to me and we played a few rounds. It is really a drinking game and is basically Yahtzee with 3 dice always looking to get 3 of a kind. On BGG it was advertised it would be 5 dice, but the barrels were produced incorrectly and mis-measured so it turned to only 3 dice. I wasn't about to pay 20 euros for 3 dice. The dice are very cool and I applaud that. Seems like a simple game and if I was a drinker, who knows, I might have bought it. I love the little barrel. Seems really cute.
Next I sat down with another couple from Germany to learn a prototype game called Museum. New to me!
This will be going to KS 2017. I was interested in this one when I first saw it on bgg so I was happy to play it. The artwork is very nice it attracted me. This game is a drafting set collection game. You are try I to get same symbols with different countries and same country with different symbols. You have a hand of cards and each turn you draft a card from the center Then you purchase a card to your tableau. When purchasing a card you can recruit from other players discard piles or from your hand. When you do this you must spend cards from your hand as a sort of payment to your discard pile that people can now buy from. Player have hidden goals they are working towards as well. You are trying to get the most points possible for the end game. In game you play to 80 points and in the demo we just played to 30. When you score a card to the tableau the value turns to points which is how you accumulate in game points all working towards your end game big bonus scoring. You score for civilizations being very large and for big sets of the same symbol.
In our game my hidden goal was to score Chinese nation cards for extra bonus. My hand said otherwise and wanted me to work on a certain symbol that was not included with the Chinese nation. I didn't realize that until half way though so everything was already screwed up for me. The other guy learning it manages to get like 80 after all said and done when we were only playing to 30 so that was pretty crazy I think I only made it to 60. Not bad but not great.
I really enjoyed is game. There were a few things they are working on so I will be interested in the final product what they do. Here are character cards you can draft for payment on your turn instead of the action. I think it should be in addition to the regular action. Maybe they will change that.
I really liked this and I see a lot of promise here. I will likely back it when it shows up on KS. Cool game.
Ron and I were on the way out when I spotted Azuchi Castle. New to me!
This was a game on my auto buy list because the box was so pretty. I had a chance to play it before so I took it! We played 3p with the teacher and learned it pretty quickly. It is a very light game of drafting cards and gathering resources or military for the upcoming event. You draft 2 and have 3 workers for the cards. When you draft a card it is from 3 on display. If you get a military card and utilize him, when the event happens if it isn't war then you get to keep him around for the coming rounds. The event might be good to turn resources into points etc.
We played 4 rounds or so and got a pretty good feel for the game. It is very light and simple. I ended up not getting it. You do get a lot in the very small box in terms of cubes and money and a deck of cards for 11 euro. It just turned out to be a game we wouldn't play very often so I didn't pick it up. Very portable though and pretty. Cool to have tried it.
Later that night Ron read the rules to Cottage Garden. New to me!
Uwe R's other new game. This has similar tiles to patchwork but offers more options and decisions to make. Definitely heavier than patchwork but not by much. 2-4 players and this is an abstract game with kitties! Oh the kitties are so cute! The object is to score your boards for pot points and covered flower points. Each player has a track for both of those and 3 cubes in each color. When you score a board you score all points with one cube your choice. To score you need your board filled with every spot covered. You get to move the markers one space for each pot on the board and cover you have. The pot track is single unit and the cover is 2 per.
The game board consists of a 4x4 grid of the flower beds which are randomized and placed. The other tiles are then spread out like patchwork and will be next in line when refilling the board. On your turn you take from the row the die is on and place that tile on one of the garden beds. The die moves and the next player goes. This continues until 5 rounds around the board is complete (one less for 2p) then players have to finish their board in the 6th round and have to pay 2pts a turn to do this, you better do it quickly.
In our game I was doing very well and always getting the pieces I needed. I was very far ahead of Ron. I got bonus points for getting my cubes to the 20 zones and just played well. The kitty tokens are used to take up space, while no points, they help to easily complete the flower beds faster. I totally kicked Ron's butt. I guess I am a natural. I am excited I might try to bring this one to play with my gardening grandparents. I think my grandpa will really like this game if only for the look of the game. I am excited to have this one even though it is not my normal favorite heavy Uwe game. It hit will be a nice one to have. Very cool game. Yay!
Before the Con early morning Day 3, when it was all quite... First Con Pic of the day!
Ron really needed to get all the games for LT since things were selling out quickly and we had missed out on some. So he went off and did that. I went off and played some games. I started. By finding Pipe Work. New to me!
This was a game I was super interested in. The components alone are top notch and it is a speed puzzle game. If the box wasn't so big it would have been a blind buy for me. Definitely the type of games like. I was fortunate to sit with two teachers Milan and Lara. They were very enthusiastic about the pipe game as I was. This game you can play on various levels 1-4 difficulty. I wanted to jump right to the hard levels. Unfortunately for me I was quite terrible. I wasn't placing the main tokens in the right places so it was impossible for me to complete. Whoops I failed! By the 3rd round I had it all figured out and working on it but was still out beat. I really liked the game. Lara was excited about me liking it she wanted to teach me their other game on display.
I ended up losing that game pretty bad. There were some other scoring that we ended up not doing but I saw how it worked. If I can get this game in the us I probably will try to do that it was a pretty cool game.
The game she wanted to show me was called Gemblo. New to me!
I know this game is not really new but I was happy to try it. It reminds me a lot like Blokus. It uses hexes and you have to place one line away from your pieces when. Playing. Certainly makes the game easier, it seemed. We played on the super deluxe version of the game. We only did the 3 of us which is a nice number but it plays up to 6 player.
I this game I used my blokus skills and totally owned gem both. It was a great game and I just love the deluxe pieces. It was a huge game. I reallllly wanted it. No room though! I told Ron I want it for Christmas so I hope he remembers. I love these types of abstract games. Blokus trigon is still one of my most favorite abstracts I love it and play it next to never. I need more abstract gaming friends. Gemblo is awesome and I am happy to have tried it! Thanks to Lara for the suggestion I had a great time.
Still flying solo I wanted to try out the new Granna game called Warsaw: City of Ruins. New to me!
It was on the must buy list, but I did want to try it while I got the chance. New friends Sven and Tim were just finishing up their game of capital and offered to teach me for a second game. I am grateful they were willing to play again. Sven was saying how he hated Quadropolis but this was so much better. Since I am taking about it I will mention that I love both! I do think this offers more choices and harder decisions for building up your city.
This game is awesome! Definitely a solid highlight from the con. This game is in 5 rounds and each round a player is dealt 4 tiles and drafting them one at a time they get added to the city. Picks. Tile and pay for it then pass the remaining tiles along. You can choose to discard it for 3 money--- sounding familiar? Once you buy it then it gets added to the city. There is a scoring each round for your city. Some monuments gain additional bonuses and scoring too. Do this for the 5 rounds and see how has the most victory.
In our game Tim was going for the purple buildings and scoring a bunch each round. The buses were his other source of points. I really thought he would win because of this. I actually was getting it that I might win with my end scoring. I was feeling good by the end with my set up. But nope, Sven had better end scoring than even me! Totally flew past for the win. I think we were all within 10 points though. I guess cities for the win since he had so many of them! Lots of different routes to go here and it was just so fun to play. Well worth the cost of the game 25 euro. It will get played a bunch. So happy.
Made some new friends and we had a great time playing. I can't wait to play again!
The Legend of Sabao was on my list of games to try, but it was only one demo table I didn't get the chance. Looks cool though.
Ron joined up and we went to roam. Stumbled on a game I was interested in trying called King Of The Hill: The Dwarf Throne. New to me!
This was a game on my to try list. It is a simultaneous card selection game after placing your workers in the board for influence. You are trying to gain control of the influence of the dwarves.
This is interesting since each player goes first one time in the game for placement. But LAST player gets to decide which spaces on the board resolve first. There area. Ton of spaces and going last you can make other players use their cards first in spaces you aren't. So each player has a hand of 6 cards 1-6 and you use these for each of you 6 meeples. So by making other spaces resolve first you see what other players are paying by way of the cards. It is a very strong position to be in.
We were playing with very unfun people and they were just miserable. Boo, ruining my chance at a fun game. The short and sweet version is I really enjoyed this game and I was the only one. Ro didn't really like it. With the right group I think this would be a super fun game. I don't think I would have many opportunities to play it which is why I didn't buy it. If I thought I could get it played I would have. The unfun people didn't off put it for me. I would definitely play again and I want to! Seems cool! I liked it a bunch!
Marlon joined up with us! Yay! We were just looking around and he ran into us. So we continued to wander and came across its small card game called Braintopia. New to me!
I was attracted to the game for the cards. They were special cards with texture on them. Really cool! I thought the whole game would be about that but is as wrong. It is a speed recognition game with many different challenges and texture is just one of them. While I like speed games like this, I am not very good at them with Ron at the table. This was no different. Ron got a good majority and of course ended up creaming up at this game. He has a full brain!! I think I was only at 2 brains so yeah, it seems about correct! marlin was just lost on the game, I don't tank he is a dex/ speed gamer. Hahah we had fun regardless. Hey a new game, what can I say!
Marlon was interested in checking out Papa palo. When we got over there it was a space for a new game to start for Key to the City: London. We sat down immediately and new friend Won-sik joined in for a 4p game. New to me!
Ok, if you love keyflower this is a no brainer, sorry! For me this game is way better than keyflower. While I enjoy keyflower, after the last time I played it I haven't wanted to return. Since I knew it would make Ron happy I wanted to try this one and it was a perfect opportunity. This game really cleans up keyflowers problems and makes it much better. The problem I have with this game is the roads. They are so damn fiddle and she. You go to upgrade the tile pieces the roads are just a mess. Way too fiddly and by the end it was becoming ap central which is another reason I hated keyflower. So, playing this game again, I won't play with more than 4p even if it goes to 6.
In 4 rounds the first 2 rounds offer production building and scoring buildings to bid on. Round 3 offers upgraded scoring monuments with chance for further upgrades potentially. Finally the last round it just end scoring cards to bid on. You can use other players tableaus that you know and like and most everything works the same way. Turn order has changed for the better as well.
In our game I had completely misunderstood the networking tiles. So my whole game was focused on a few end scoring tiles that I picked up but managed to mess up completely. To. Was working from a central point and upgrading lots of monuments. Marlon was working on the river tiles and connections and won-sik was spending a lot of time collecting various roads and upgrading his personal tiles. Ron was most focused besides me, and I was doing it wrong. Had I been doing it correctly I know I would have won. as it always is. Yes, Ron won that game and we all hate him for it. I ended up buying this game for him for his birthday. happy birthday Ron! I bought the Quined games edition since it is so much prettier and will look nice next to hacklesmackle.
I quite enjoyed this game even though it lacks in my normal artistic tastes for bright shiny colors. Cool game.
Marlon went off and Ron and I went to take a break. Outside hall 1 there is a nice Mezzanine and a bunch of tables. It seems to be a secret spot that not many people know about. Perfect to get in a game or 2. We took a break and Ron figured out the rules (the hard way by google translate) to Noch mal!. New to me!
This was a game that I was very interested in. When I heard it was sold out from the major vendor I had to go find it. I went to a smaller German vendor that had it and picked it up. I love small dice games and this looked to be one I would also enjoy in the qwixx and qwinto family. There is a bit more to this game then those but same idea.
You are trying to fill in the bubble sheet with results of the dice. The active player rolls the dice and chooses 2 to use. The other players can choose the combo from the remaining dice. You are taking the color and the number. If you take blue 5 you have to use ALL pips. If you can not use all of them to fill in a single region you may not take them. You are looking to complete columns on the sheet first for bonus points and when all regions in a specific color has been completed there is a bonus for that and it is what triggers end of game once 2 colors have been closed (sound familiar?)
In our game Ron was going to town. I was getting terrible rolls and unable to take anything some rounds when Ron was rolling. Yah he completely creamed me. I don't think that this is the best 2p game. I think it will be much more interesting with 3-4p because then there is real competition for the columns when completing them. Ron and I went off in opposite direction and didn't see much conflict there.
Very enjoyable and I look forward to this one for a filler game really soon!
Once we got back to the hotel. Marlon joined us for a few late night games! I was happy he decided to stay at the same location as us for this instance! He had bought Colony and I was looking to teach a game so this worked out! Well Ron really taught it. I just wanted to play a game that wasn't new to me since I was feeling the mind start to melt and it was really late.
Ron was still awake so he was able to teach this game with no problem. I used my handy randomizer app to get us the cards for the game. By this point, Marlon was well versed in Ron's ability to win games. He was feeling what I always feel when I have to play against Ron, which is all the time.
Ron was combo-ing all the time and managed to get an income of 3 unstable 1 die, are you kidding me. No, Ron is that good. Marlon knew Ron would win the game if he didn't do something drastic. He ended up trashing his warehouse!!! To get the 6 or 7 dice for the catch up mechanism. It didn't work out, like it really didn't work out for me. there was nothing we could do we were just too far behind by 6/7 points. Of course Ron won on the next turn since he rolled exactly what he needed. Awesome game, I just need to keep Ron from getting all of the amazing cards, as he usually does.
Marlon loved it as anyone would and was very excited to play it. Love that game!
We finished the night with a game of Honshū. New to me!
This was an auto buy for me. The folks playing it when I picked it up were not enjoying it so much so it made me weary. But it seemed like something I would really like so I picked it up regardless of trying it first. I do think playing this game with 3p is optimal which could be why the 5p game I witnessed was not working well.
It is a trick taking card patching game. The trick is lead and the high card wins the trick, but by win I mean they get first choice at the available cards that were played. This reminds me of Plums. It is hard to plan on which card you are getting. You can always spend a resource to "trump" in the resource is value 60 as there are only 60 cards in the deck it is an auto win unless someone else trumps higher with the same color resource.
Once you take a card then you have to "patch" it in you personal region. You are making it like you would make your board in Patchistory. It is cool. There is a scoring card that shows what scores for how much. You want to delivery the resources if you can. there is other cards you can put into play for alternate scoring which is nice and switches up game play for future games.
In our game I was working on mostly getting the longest river, but Ron was of course better than me and had a huge river too and a very large city too. He completely dominated. I really thought I was doing well with my forests and river, but it wasn't well enough.
I have to say I very much enjoyed this game and am so happy I picked it up! I can see this game being played for a long while to come. Many of my groups will appreciate it and play with me. It is quick and there are some nice tile placement options. Knowing when to "trump" is also going to come with time. Very enjoyable, yay!
Ron and I had a punching contest. This is maybe half of the cardboard we discarded from all the nights there. SO MUCH TO PUNCH!!!!!!
Pre Essen on the final day... Ron and I snapped a pic to say goodbye. It just goes by so quickly!! Even with the extended hall hours.
Before the doors opened I managed to get a few players for Rolling Japan. I made some new friends Gerty and Silvia from the Netherlands. Marlon joined us at the gate and we had a good time.
Turned out I recognized Gerty's Instagram photos. He is the one with the Angry kitty. Love his pics! We are now good friends and will likely wait in line with them every year we end up going to Essen! Good folks that play a ton of 2p games!
I taught the rules to this game and by the 3rd round everyone was feeling it. Gerty wasn't doing so well, I kept correcting his moves but I think by the end he got it, but had given up on the game almost entirely. I think he was more interested in collecting some coffee from the café in the lobby. Otherwise I think everyone liked it. I mean how can you not. It is Rolling Japan!
Always good to pass the time with a fast dice game. It was the final day and we were just anxious to get in and get the last minute deals.
It just so happened Ron and I tied for the win with 13 points. It is all about winning, right?
I had First Class: All Aboard the Orient Express! on the mind. New to me!
This game was only in German, but I knew I wanted to learn it so then I wouldn't have to worry about getting English rules since they were not posted. Ron and I booked it to a table to try and play. We found a table with a girl who was waiting for others. She actually got up and left to go where they were instead so we managed to get a table! yay!
It took a while to find an English teacher, but she showed up and we did just fine. This game turned out to be the hit of the con for me. I was actively not playing the games I knew I would love like Odin and Colonists, since I knew I would have time to play when I got home. I do really want to play Odin soooo badly! This game I was on the fence about because it was not in English. By playing it I could then teach it so we played.
This is by the designer of Russian Railroads so I was interested. It is a card game to get your trains and upgrade them. It is all done by the drafting of the cards in the center of the table. The cards have different actions and uses and you are working to advance you trains and get some money. But you are also planning your route with tracks as well. There is a lot to focus on and different paths to take. Ron was working on upgrading all of his train cars and I was working mostly on getting my passenger to the end of the car for extra points and the train routes.
The game is played in 6 rounds every 2nd round there is a scoring for what you accomplished in that age 1/2/3.
I was not getting as many points since I was not upgrading my train cars. I was more focused on other things. My secret end card that were scoring me points. There was a lot of stuff to consider but all in all it is a pretty easy game to pick up and learn.
As I was saying Ron and I were very focused but on different things. I done really well and same with Ron. It all came down to the final scoring for the hidden goals. I ended up getting 40 points for my hidden goals. I literally SHOCKED Ron and Marlon with those hidden objectives. Ron and I ended up TIED for a shared victory. I nearly flipped the table! WHAT A SHARED VICTORY! Are you kidding me!?
Oh man I wanted a rematch right then and there. Ron and I both loved it and same with Marlon. We went almost immediately to go and buy it. Of course it was sold out each place and then we had to go sneak attack at a German vendor. When we told them it was sold out they gave it at their price then they were going to jack the prices up! hahaha fewf, just made it in time. definitely a surprise hit for me and the best game I learned. So many options. The game comes with different mods so you choose 2/5 decks of cards to play with deck A-E to mix and match for game play. This bring different cards into play and it provides a lot for replay value. So awesome!
I can't wait to play this one again! Potential here for being a top 20. Really awesome game.
Had to get a pic with Marlon!
Marlon went off but Ron and I decided to sit and play Architects of the Colosseum. New to me!
This game was on my list of games to try out. It is an engine building game and the mechanics are nice. It is very light and could easily be played with the family. You are collecting land tiles and when you do this you are activating the next tile in line for all players to collect income. You might take a water tile and add it to your tableau and the next tile in line might be rock so each player looks at their tiles for rock and collected cards = number of tiles they have in that feature. The chariot simply moves one step each turn. Players have the opportunity to more it an extra space or more depending on how many wheels they want to utilize.
It is really a set collection game. If you aren’t collecting tiles and resources you might choose to complete the part of the colosseum and gain victory points if you have the appropriate resources needed to complete it. Again, this game is very simple but there is more than meets the eye.
Ron and I sat down and asked new friends Lucian and Valentin to join in. I think the major problem we had with the game was the guy who explained the rules didn’t know English very well. It was actually not well at all. We had a lot of rules questions but no one was really speaking English at this booth. Ron was doing a lot of translating with his phone that was working and we went by pictures a lot. It was pretty rough but we made it though and built the whole Colosseum!
I am not sure we had a good time playing, everyone was very quiet the whole time and the rules issue. It just seemed to be a game. I think there is a good game here, but I would want there to be English rules for the next time we play it. I was still happy to play even though I lost very poorly. Lucian and I had the same opinion at the end where the final piece of the colosseum is place that player gets an additional 4 point bonus. It is already super strong to get the final pieces but the added bonus seems to be unnecessary and too powerful. Valentin totally owned us. He didn’t get any bonuses for his tableau building but he was able to place so many pieces for points he blew us away in that game. Well done! It is a cool game and I would play again under the right circumstances. I ended up not picking it up though.
Ron and I went over to Paulo and found him with Mina! Then Marlon joined and and Peat stopped by! It was all by coincidence. Imagine that! BGG BLOGGERS UNITED! I ran into Anachrony and I reallllly wanted to play it. Demo table was full but I snagged a cool pic!
Ron and I went off and found Capital Lux. New to me!
This game was on my to try list and probably buy since I really liked the look of it. I walked by earlier in the con and it was a 4p game and it looked a bit busy so I wanted to try before buying. Ron and I just played 2p and it was a good time! Players have a hand of 6 cards and will play one card at a time until someone has no more cards. You are either playing a card to your tableau for potential scoring or to the common stacks for the capital. When you play there then you are going to activate an action which might be score a card in the capital or draw an additional card. When the round ends whatever card left in your hand will be added to your tableau. If you have more value in your tableau then you lose all of the cards there. If you have the highest and closest to the capitals value then you get to score the highest value card in the capital to your face down score pile. This goes on for 3 rounds and all cards in your tableau and capital remain unless scored in the scoring phase. At the end of the 3rd round ALL card in the tableau become points provided they are still around.
It is a very interesting card game even with 2p. I can’t imagine what it would be like with 3p. the game would change dramatically I am sure. There is a lot to consider for this fast card game. I just had to buy it.
Ron and I were playing and there is a drafting bit to each round at the beginning too. So I knew a lot of Ron’s cards. I didn’t know the first 2 he decided to keep but you want to draft the cards you might want the actions for. If you need some discs you want to hang on to some yellow cards. It can definitely be a mind game and I really like that.
I had a great time playing and look forward to a lot more plays. I can’t wait to play with more players too. Definitely worth being in any collection. It will work well with MANY groups. I just know it. Happy I had it on my list to play. Worked out well I got one of the last copies!
Mina had tried and really enjoyed Fold-it. New to me!
I saw a free seat and Ron and I joined the teacher in this game. It is a very light puzzle game with just a piece of cloth. players are trying to solve the puzzle before everyone else. There is a card that is flipped with some number of images. You have to fold your napkin to only show those items.
I got the easy one just fine. Ron won the second round and he then choose to go full out hard level. OMG this game is impossible. There were 4 images and Ron and I were totally stumped. We sat there for like 5 minutes and were completely clueless. We ended up giving up and the teach didn't bother looking at the cloth and bing bang done he folding it like a master folder. I mean it was incredible, I was SHOCKED at this. I asked him to do it again so I could mimic it. I did take a picture of the finished product. I mean dang, he was impressive. This was a hard game- too hard for my taste. hahaha
I just suck at it. I would of course play it any time just to see if I learned anything, which I know I didn't. I am still in shock!
Ron and I stopped by the Massif booth and looked at The Mountaineer. New to me!
Ron and I got to the booth and there was a contest going on to get a name pulled from a hat to win a copy of the game. Ron had told me only a little about the game being 129 Euros. BUWAHT? So expensive. This is because they are handmade copies in preparation for next year’s release on KS. That is an expensive game but my interest had peaked. I signed up to have a last minute demo with Ron that day.
When we got to demoing the game we were only playing 2p but it can play up to 6p. This game is just awesome. It is not a race to the top but a race to complete objective cards that each player gets dealt at the beginning of the game. On your turn you roll 2 dice. The value of the dice indicate how much movement you can do. Then you get to draw cards based on the value as well. You get cards and EVERYONE gets the same number of cards. The red die is then placed on the action 1-6 and the blue the same 1-6 depending on what you roll. These are your conditions for your hiking this turn. It might say draw an addition card, or lose one card, or climb 2 spaces on cliff for free. Normally you have to spend cards from your hand to move across terrain types. I actually felt this game was super thematic, and coming from me, that is saying a lot. I don’t really dive deep into these but the dice being rolled will vary your condition for your turn. It is very clever!
There is a tech board you get spend cards to get bonus actions and those are permanent. I had a ton of extra cards and it meant that I was not doing enough upgrading. I originally thought we just had to get to the top and then score as many cards as you could, but the game ends when someone completes all objectives or your pegs run out. Once I learned that I was all out go mode. I was working on a few of my cards since they stacked well! Then it got complicated when I had to get to other sides of the mountain to get on the glacial spaces for my final objective. I had most of my pegs on the board and each peg on the board is a point. I totally dominated the Ron this game. I was up and around and totally cut him off. He helicoptered out and onto a different part of the board. I was all over the place and it was awesome. I can’t imagine what this game will be like with 4 or 5 players. I can’t wait to try. I might even contact the designer and ask to buy the special edition one. I just didn’t have the money at the time. It is a very cool game. I am definitely going to be on top of that KS when it hits.
This game is unique and so far as I can see well balanced. I had an excellent time playing and I think it was definitely the hidden gem of the con. I am very excited for this one. All my best to Massif Games and Corey Wright, the designer. I only wish he gave me a copy to show off for him. I know a ton of people would appreciate this design.
Driving around to get food, the colors were just amazing. Essen is so cool!
The Sunset to Essen, so symbolic.
Ron and his amazing boxing skills. 8 boxes in 1! And that is how you do it folks!
Later that night, Mina got back to the hotel, yes we were staying at the same hotel and we hadn't played a game until the final night!!! What absurdity is that?!
On the table first was Dream Home.
I did get to play this back at GenCon and loved it. I had to pick it up! Mina and Peter learned it earlier in the week and were willing to play it again. Yay!
It is a fast and simple set collection game with being a very easy abstract game too with some drafting! I love its ease and I think it is just beautiful.
I collected all of the same roof tiles and got a ton of extra bonuses, I still think I lost to Peter who had a bunch of end game points and décor. Peter is sneaky that sneaky snake! I missed the opportunity to get a second garage since I had to flip one over for that space. It hurt a lot, let me tell you! haha it is actually a harmless game and I recommend it for any family.
I definitely need to work on getting more tools and assistants for their bonuses and less roof tiles. I do enjoy screwing Ron out of cards though, I must always sit to Ron's Right in every game. I have a much better chance of winning. Maybe Math man could tell me one day what my chances of winning are when I sit to either the left or right of Ron.
We brought along some other games to play too. Next up was the cute Kodama: The Tree Spirits. New to me!
This game is essentially remake of Kigi, the problem here is Kigi is the better game and I still don’t like it at all. The scoring cards in Kodama are just extremely unbalanced and some really strict card placement rules. It was unbalanced because well one card said score 3 points per star and Ron had the SAME card that said score 5 points per… How is that fair at all. I just don’t get it. That is just one example. We ended up playing 2/3 rounds because we all just didn’t like it enough to finish. Maybe Mina will play again and enjoy it better. For me, I didn’t really like Kigi all that much but I definitely liked it a LOT better than this one.
I like the idea of building a tree, I think it just has to be done in a slightly different way. I do think it is a beautiful and super cute game, I just don’t like the game play enough to play it again. I am sure it will work well for many families, but it is just not for me.
We wanted to get a good game played so we took out Honshū.
All of us had played before and peter kept saying he wanted to play again, so we did. This time it was a 4p count and it was a little harder to predict which cards you would be able to collect on your turn from the trick portion of the game. I don’t think it effected game play too much. I did see more “trump” being played so players could get the cards they want. I trumped in a few times even. I knew I would be losing cubes due to the card placement and overlapping so I was going to lose the cube anyway. Might as well trump in!
I was focused more on the new objective to get blocks of 2x2 farming areas. I had a ton of them scoring me 5 pts per group! I was doing very well with a large river region. It was super awesome! I thought for sure I was going to win, alas I did not. Haha of course I didn’t. I didn’t have enough deliveries and they all had HUGE cities they were forming. I didn’t have any city really. I need to play this a few more times to get better at it. I thought I was doing well, but nope! Ron totally won this time. He is just really good at games like this and Patchistory. I was close behind and came in second.
I really am enjoying this title. So cool!
The final game we ended up playing was DuCo. New to me!
This is a very simple abstract card laying game. You are trying to match symbols and colors to the adjacent pictures. All players are playing to a common board and just trying to score points.
It is really that simple. It seemed the average points per turn was 8, we all seemed to get 8 points each turn. Oh well, everyone wanted to stop at 25 points even though it was a game until 50. I was already passed 25 points by the time Mina said that. We kept going. I made them all suffer through so I could get my legit win for the game. I was cleaning up! The colors just speak to me. Mina snapped this awesome photo of me. She said I could use it in my blog, so I just have to do that!
In the end I won, and they all lost since they had to play out the raining turns. haha I like the color. I think the cards are cool, I just think there could be a better game in here than simply matching the symbols. I think they like the fact it can be explained in 5 seconds or something. I like a little bit more to my game, but I think the colors are the bomb!
At the Airport I had my final Pretzel
AND THEN I MET ERIC LANG! He was a pretty awesome guy and he was happy to take a pic with me. Very cool.
On the short plane ride to Amsterdam, Ron and I managed to get in a few dice games. We started with Qwixx: Big Points.
I am just the bomb at this game. You should all be extremely jealous of my Qwixx Big Points Skillz. haha nah but I think this is by far the best qwixx game to date. Ron managed an early close for yellow but I was then able to close blue shortly after. It meant that our game was completely too fast. It plays out so much quicker in a 2p game since you have more opportunities to take more checks. I scored better than Ron, and that is all that really matters!
The flight was only 35 minutes one in the air! Imagine that! We still had time for another game so we picked Qwinto.
It was also a game I hadn't played this week so sure why not. This game plays very different with 2p.
I was definitely not playing cautiously and kept having to take -5 for not being able to take the values I was rolling. Ron didn't even notice I was taking the negatives and thought I would win. I got a lot of pentagon points but he was the one to finally close off both rows before I could. He completely destroyed me that time. Awesome game and fun filler to pass the time.
The clouds were so fluffy! I had to take a pic flying into Amsterdam
I managed to learn 32 games at Essen 2016!! That is not too shabby considering all of the crazy that goes along with going to Essen! I had the most wonderful time! It is a true treat to be able to go to such an amazing Convention!
Here is the FINAL image of all the games I acquired!! I am so excited to play each and every one of them!!!
I want to thank all of my friends who made this trip so worth it!. I hope to be able to come back next year too!
Shout out to (in no particular order, well more that is the order in my geekbuddy list)
My Blog - Shades Of Boardgaming
Mina's Fresh Cardboard
Vila Nova Gaia
I run through Rahdo's Runthroughs and make right what once went wrong (via annotations)
Preorder Ultimate Werewolf Legacy now from beziergames.com
Ultimate Werewolf Legacy
Thanks for following along! I hope you have an amazing week.
Sorry if my images were only ok, I didn't end up bringing my nice camera since I didn't want it lost in the shuffle. I also ended up editing most of them on the plane so the lighting was particularly bad and I am quite disappointed with them. boo, I also didn't want to go back and re-edit them. Some turned out ok though. I hope you still enjoyed this installment of my time at Essen! I can't wait for the coming weeks with all the awesome games!
Until next week!