Game Knight's Essen 2012 Watch List
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A bit earlier than usual, but with the Spielbox preview going up and people already making lists since March (or even straight after Essen 2012) a lot of the pre-work has been done I guess

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1. Board Game: 7 Wonders: Cities [Average Rating:7.85 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.85 Unranked]
Board Game: 7 Wonders: Cities
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Certainly not an auto-buy, I am slightly worried that with this and Leaders game length might creep towards and over 45 minutes, while for me one of the charms of 7 Wonders is that it packs interesting and agonizing decisions into a half hour. But worth seeing or trying at least!

Update: After reading the rules, consider me unimpressed. Some new ideas, but nothing that screams must-have. Unlikely to buy.
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2. Board Game: Dungeon Lords: Festival Season [Average Rating:7.79 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.79 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.79 Unranked]
Board Game: Dungeon Lords: Festival Season
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A very likely buy, although I will want to have a look at the price and what exactly the expansion contains. Dungeon Lords is one of my favorite games so anything that can pile on the misfortune is welcome!
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3. Board Game: Snowdonia [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:453]
Board Game: Snowdonia
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This one interests me, but I haven't been able to bring myself to read more of the available information on this yet. Still, enough time to do so!

Update: read a review and the overview by the author. I'm not quite on the preorder train yet, but it's still firmly on the radar!
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4. Board Game: Keyflower [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:52]
Board Game: Keyflower
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I like pretty much all of the Key games, though none of them have really blown me away. This sounds interesting, I hope to have a look at the rules before deciding.

Update: this one hasn't really managed to hold on to my interest, plus a friend will be getting this, so I'll probably just try it out after Essen.
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5. Board Game: The Great Zimbabwe [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:343]
Board Game: The Great Zimbabwe
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I really like Antiquity and Indonesia (haven't played Roads & Boats enough to make up my mind), but the last Splotter offerings (Greed and especially Duck Dealer) didn't interest me at all. This one I will check out though.

Update: €75? Thanks but no thanks. I'll stick with Antiquity and Indonesia.
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6. Board Game: Expedition: Congo River 1884 [Average Rating:5.49 Overall Rank:16435]
Board Game: Expedition: Congo River 1884
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The theme (Africa at the time of the Scramble) is a plus for me, though I don't know an awful lot about the game itself yet. Will keep an eye on.

Update: Read the rules, quite a light game with not a whole lot new going on. Probable no.
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7. Board Game: Clash of Cultures [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:272]
Board Game: Clash of Cultures
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Civ games always interest me, especially ones with a big tech tree. But it will take at least a rule book and possibly a play for me to decide on this one.

Update: Based on the rules it sounds like a good game, but I don't see anything special that would justify me owning it in addition to Sid Meier's Civ. Likely no purchase.
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8. Board Game: Caverna: The Cave Farmers [Average Rating:8.04 Overall Rank:27]
Board Game: Caverna: The Cave Farmers
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I don't know if this one will even be available, but I'm a big fan of Agricola, and am curious if this will be as fun and challenging in its own right.

Update: Onto the Essen 2013 list it goes probably! That's OK, I can wait...
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9. Board Game: Road to Enlightenment [Average Rating:5.85 Overall Rank:10581]
Board Game: Road to Enlightenment
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I considered Kickstarting this, but in the end I found it a bit too expensive to just take a gamble on the information available. If it is present in any shape in Essen I will want to have a look.

Update: I don't think the publisher will have a booth in Essen so no opportunity to try. It's possible to arrange to buy it there but $75 sight unseen is still too much of a gamble for me.
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10. Board Game: Urbanization [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:5191]
Board Game: Urbanization
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I like the theme and feel of the game, but didn't even consider Kickstarting this one. Why would I pay an extra $15 on shipping (the original amount was even higher) to get an unseen game, while I could just see, play and buy it at Essen?
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11. Board Game: Madeira [Average Rating:7.64 Overall Rank:346]
Board Game: Madeira
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The theme of building up a colony appeals to me, even though it has been done many times before. Let's see if this one has any interesting new angles!

Update: Delayed until 2013 it seems.
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12. Board Game: Aeroplanes: Aviation Ascendant [Average Rating:6.60 Overall Rank:3061]
Board Game: Aeroplanes: Aviation Ascendant
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I own and like a lot of Martin Wallace's games, including Automobiles, although I didn't get to play that one for a while now. This has been compared to Automobiles I believe, and a Wallace economic game is always worth a try!

Update: Read the rules. I already pretty much pulled the plug on the part about rolling dice to see if you succeed to place an airport, and the rest didn't seem particularly interesting either. Very likely pass.
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13. Board Game: The Mystery of the Templars [Average Rating:5.87 Overall Rank:13155]
Board Game: The Mystery of the Templars
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As a fan of the Broken Sword series, I like the Templars theme, though the play time has me slightly worried about how often I will get to play this. Let's wait and see.
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14. Board Game: CO₂ [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:711]
Board Game: CO₂
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Could be good, I like what I've seen of the components. Need to look more into this.

Update: No rules available yet. I'm slightly annoyed by the fact that doesn't seem to stop the pre-order discount from declining daily. "Sure, you can wait until the rules are available, if you don't mind paying more..." shake
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15. Board Game: Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island [Average Rating:7.87 Overall Rank:47]
Board Game: Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island
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I think my collection is pretty saturated as far as regular co-ops are concerned, but this seems to add some sort of storytelling element to it. Enough to have me interested for the moment at least!

Update: Read the rules, there doesn't seem to be any storytelling element to it (I guess I misinterpreted the original info), or for that matter anything else that really sets it apart from regular co-ops. Add the fact that it contains scenarios to choose from and the chances of this one making it home with me are slim to none.
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16. Board Game: Terra Mystica [Average Rating:8.16 Overall Rank:15]
Board Game: Terra Mystica
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A new game from the designer of Scepter of Zavandor? That should have me interested! I like the description and the artwork I've seen so far, now waiting for the rules!

Update: I've been going back and forth on this one after reading the rules. For now I'm still very interested and if the pre-order price was €30 instead of €50 I probably would have taken a chance on it already. Now I still might, but it will take some more agonizing...

Update II: Well, I caved. Being pretty sure I wanted Terra Mystica and seeing group orders pop up left and right, I went and reserved a copy before it's too late. And I plan on picking it up too! laugh
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17. Board Game: Wild Fun West [Average Rating:5.88 Overall Rank:11763]
Board Game: Wild Fun West
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I always like to pick up one or two smaller card games as well, this one sounds like it could be fun (heck, it's in the name! )

Update: Not a 'small' card game apparently, but one in a full-sized box! Read the rules and still sounds like fun, I will consider the Indiegogo.

Update II: Being in a rare adventurous 'what the heck'-spending mode, I signed up for the Indiegogo in addition of today's order of Terra Mystica!
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18. Board Game: Archipelago [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:362]
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Still unsure about this one. I like the theme and many of the mechanisms mentioned, but I'm not very big on games where negotiation plays a big role. But it gets the benefit of the doubt and makes this hallowed list

Update: I read the rules, it seems like it could be a fun game and not as negotiation-heavy as I feared. But there's no way I'm plonking down €60 for it! If it's in Essen for around the €40 mark it stands a very good chance.
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19. Board Game: Suburbia [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:131]
Board Game: Suburbia
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I could still do with a good citybuilding game, last year's City Tycoon didn't really do it for me. I like the way this looks and it sounds like it could be good. Going to keep an eye out for the rules.

Update: Based on the rules, seems a decent but not groundbreaking game. I would be interested to see the different tiles available in the stacks, if there are other things than "+/- X money/income/reputation for every Y"

Update II: Read the tile manifest, there doesn't seem to be much more than indeed "+/- X money/income/reputation for every Y". My interest has decreased considerably.
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20. Board Game: Express 01 [Average Rating:5.02 Overall Rank:18383]
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18xx meets Race for the Galaxy?

I read the rules and it sounds good. Plus Essen pick-up available for the (German) Kickstarter!

Update: I decided to go for this one, order for the "Sparticket" placed!
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21. Board Game: Concordia [Average Rating:8.11 Overall Rank:17]
Board Game: Concordia
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Being a bit of a fan of Gerdts' later games, and after reading this description, I decided this one has to make the list too. Slightly reminiscent of Navegador, and a hint of deckbuilding but then in a more than marginally interactive game.

The list is filling up quickly this year, I don't know if I'll manage to keep it within one page this time...

Update: Apparently this won't make Essen 2012. Still enough left to look at!
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22. Board Game: New Amsterdam [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:1575]
Board Game: New Amsterdam
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After some rules reading, the only White Goblin offering that appeals to me both thematically and gameplay-wise. I will probably want to play it to make sure I like it though.
 
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23. Board Game: Pax Porfiriana [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:451]
Board Game: Pax Porfiriana
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I owned Lords of the Sierra Madre for a couple of years and it seemed a fun and original game, but was completely stumped after reading the rules and never got to play it. This sounds like a more streamlined and playable version of it, so I'm definitely interested!

Update: The rules are available on the game page, need to read them at a better time than 1 AM...

Update II: Managed to read through the rules. Interesting and original parts, but looks like a b*tch to teach. The verdict: I game I'd probably enjoy trying, but there's little point in me owning it.
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24. Board Game: The Dwarves [Average Rating:6.91 Overall Rank:2271] [Average Rating:6.91 Unranked]
From gallery of W Eric Martin
Ugur Dönmez
Netherlands
Hoofddorp
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I'm currently reading the first of the books (so no spoilers please! arrrh) and it seems like a nice subject for a co-op game. Plus the availability of a deluxe limited edition somehow is always a big pull for me! A bit worried about language dependency though, too much German on it might limit the groups I could play this with.

Update: Read the rules, and it's as language dependent as I feared (which comes with implementing the theme I guess). I don't know how popular the books are outside of Germany and if I should expect an English or even Dutch version in the not too distant future?
 
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25. Board Game: Homesteaders [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:642]
Board Game: Homesteaders
Ugur Dönmez
Netherlands
Hoofddorp
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I have been eyeing this game for a while, and this master print edition looks very nice and is very reasonably priced at a pre-order price of €30.

I'll bite, pre-ordered!
 
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